In St. Louis on Saturday, the Giants will be playing in their first doubleheader of the season, and they will do so with a bench that has been gutted by injuries. Pablo Sandoval is out and Angel Pagan is doubtful, leaving Bochy with just three reserves in each game. Whittle that number down to two because Quiroz and Posey will act as emergency catchers in games one and two respectively.
The plan is to pair Posey with Cain in the first game, then let Quiroz catch Bumgarner in the evening. Bochy emphasized that he wants Buster to catch Gaudin in his first start of the season on Sunday.
While Joaquin Arias was the scheduled to start at third in Friday’s rainout, Nick Noonan will get the call to replace Sandoval in Game One. Arias will play Game Two when Noonan slides to second to take over for Old Man Scoots. Noonan and Belt, the Bochy-dubbed “young bucks” will play both games, and presumably so will the entire outfield. Pagan will test out his injured hammy, but Alex Pavlovic of the Merc points out that damp field conditions should all but prevent the Giants leadoff hitter from playing.
For those asking, Noonan has played 37 minor league games at third base dating back to 2011. He has played the hot corner just once this season, manning the post for four innings after coming in on a double-switch.
The Cardinals, at 35-18, have the best record in baseball. Despite this, the Pirates and Reds trail by just two games in the NL Central. Outside of the AL East, there is no more competitive top three in baseball.
Here’s the lineup for game one vs. RHP Shelby Miller (5-3, 2.02 ERA)
RHP Cain (4-2, 5.00 ERA)