ST. LOUIS -- Marco Scutaro issued his directive in clear words, in the middle of the Giants clubhouse, in front of more than 20 reporters.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday clobbered him in Game 2, so how does Scutaro want the Giants pitchers to retaliate?
"I want them to throw a nine-inning shutout and we win," the Giants second baseman said Tuesday after the team's workout.
That's so Scutaro -- suddenly the NLCS's most interesting, smart, and subtle, man.
Scutaro spent 15 minutes debriefing us about his bruised left hip, his status for Wednesday's Game 3 (looking good) and detailing what it felt like to get hit by Holliday at second base on Monday ("all of a sudden I just saw this train come").
Scutaro said he isn't mad at Holliday but kept joking that Holliday "kicked my ass" and that Scutaro, despite the massive size difference, might "kick his ass" before Game 3.
The sly undertone: One of the smallest Giants can take the Cardinals' biggest hit, and shrug about it later.
"I'm just lucky nothing bad happened and I've still got my leg there," Scutaro said dryly.
Will there be Giants retaliation against Holliday or the Cardinals, Marco?
"Ask them," Scutaro said with a smile, gesturing to the rest of the clubhouse. "I don't know. I just work here."
But Scutaro does know -- the best and only true method of retaliation in the middle of an NLCS is to win and keep winning.
The Giants and
So while there might be some emotion pushing the Giants to throw at Holliday in the next few games, it's not the smart move.
"We're not changing our game plan with what happened," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're going to go out there and try to win this game and hopefully execute our pitches and not get caught into that.
"We don't want any distraction. We'll do what we can to win a ballgame."
And the smart move for the Giants is not to go out of their way to try to run over the Cardinals middle infielders.
It's to win -- if the Giants need to bust up a double play, they might be as rough as Holliday was.
But anything they do shouldn't be a departure from the way they usually play.
The goal is to win, not get revenge.
That's the only motivation, and if you think about it, that was Holliday's motivation to break up that double play, too.
"He's a great guy," Scutaro said of Holliday. "I don't think he was trying to hurt me. He was just trying to play a little hard. Just slid a little late, that's all."
Other Giants figures said much
But Matt Cain, who is set to start Game 3, said the Giants also can't depart from the game plan and avoid throwing inside just because everything's under the microscope now.
"You have to go out there and pitch your game," Cain said. "If something gets away from you inside, that's kind of part of the game.
"But you've got to be able to pitch inside and you've got to be able to pitch away. You can't have a fear with doing that."
It's the directive from on high -- from Scutaro, one of the most popular guys in that clubhouse, one of the sharpest, and definitely the one who earned his spurs (and bruises) the last few days.