By R.B. FALLSTROM, Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Giants manager Bruce Bochy expects Marco Scutaro to be in his lineup card for Game 3 of the NL championship series, two days after St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday plowed into the San Francisco second baseman.
"I think so. It feels much better," Scutaro said Tuesday night after participating in a workout at Busch Stadium. "I thought it was going to be worse. Normally, the next day is when you feel it the most."
Neither seemed too interested in any talk of retaliation.
"What's on our mind is to go out and play our best ball," Bochy said Tuesday night, a day before the best-of-seven series resumes at Busch Stadium with the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals tied at one game apiece. "That's over. You have to move on."
Scutaro said a shutout from Matt Cain would be perfect and knew nothing about get-even plans. If Matt Holliday approached him before the game, he joked that the Cardinals slugger would be in for a fight.
The recollection of the play was vivid.
"All of a sudden, I just saw this train coming," he said. "I didn't have time to do pretty much anything. I don't even know how I threw the ball to first, but I think I did, huh?"
He added that if Holliday had slid any farther, "probably you're going to make it to shortstop."
Results of an MRI exam showed Scutaro has a strained left hip after Holliday's late slide while busting up a double play. Bochy said Scutaro also had a sore left knee, and the manager had planned on holding him out of practice after the team flight arrived from the West Coast.
"We're being hopeful he can go," Bochy said. "I will say he's more optimistic about where he's at right now than when it first happened."
Cain, who will face fellow 16-game winner Kyle Lohse, said little about any possible animosity. Cain added that he wouldn't be afraid to throw inside against Holliday.
"You've got to go out there and pitch your game," Cain said. "If something gets away from me inside, that's kind of part of the game. You can't have a fear of doing that."
The 36-year-old Scutaro was an unexpected find for the Giants, batting .362 with 40 runs and 44 RBIs in 61 games after being acquired in late July from the Rockies for a minor league infielder. He's batting .250 with three RBIs in the playoffs, but has stepped it up in the NLCS, going 4 for 8 with two RBIs.
"He's driven in a lot of two-out runs and gotten rallies going for us as well," Cain said. "He's been really, really big for us."
Bochy reiterated his opinion that Holliday had made an "illegal slide," but said he hadn't talked with St. Louis manager Mike Matheny or anyone else on the Cardinals.
"I don't think there was intent, to be honest, hurting somebody," Bochy said. "But it was late. Marco was behind the bag, he really didn't hit dirt until he got behind the base.
"And the second baseman, he's in a position there where there can be some damage done, as we saw. He came out of this plenty good considering how hard he got hit."
Added Scutaro: "I don't know too much about sliding rules, but I think it was a little late. I don't think he was intentionally doing it."
Scutaro came out of Game 2 in the fifth inning because he was having trouble running, particularly side to side. He said his leg had gone numb, too.
Pain in the left knee developed on Tuesday, and Scutaro said both the hip and knee were stiff during the workout. If he can't start, Ryan Theriot would play second.
St. Louis didn't work out Tuesday after a late-night return flight to the Midwest. The exception was a 49-pitch simulated game by Jake Westbrook, who is recovering from a strained right oblique and is hopeful of rejoining the staff if St. Louis makes it to the World Series.
After Game 2, Holliday said he relayed an apology of sorts to Giants catcher Busty Posey before his next at-bat.
"I told Buster to tell Marco I wish I had started my slide a step earlier," Holliday said. "I wanted him to know I wasn't trying to hurt him. When a guy has to leave the game, I feel bad."
Holliday also defended his hard-nosed approach.
"When I'm at first and see a grounder to short, I'm just trying to make sure they can't turn the double play," Holliday said. "He was right on second base. I hope he's OK. He's a good guy."