Matsui will be a spectator in Game 3

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Joe Girardi confirmed that Johnny
Damon will start in left field for Game 3. While he didn’t make it
official, this all but guarantees that Hideki Matsui
will be sitting on the bench to start Saturday’s game in Philadelphia.

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While Nick Swisher and Damon have
batted a combined .176 with two home r
uns and six RBI during the
postseason, Matsui has been one of the club’s most reliable
contributors, batting .278/.422/.472 out of the No. 5 hole, including a
go-ahead solo home run against Pedro Martinez in Game 2. However, his
surgically-repaired knees will have him relegated to the bench.

“We’ll use him in a role to pinch hit when we feel that he can be most
valuable to us,” Girardi said. “It might be a situation where you might
think about a double switch, but you don’t want to lose his bat.”

Matsui hasn’t played a single game in the field all season, and when asked if he would be capable of doing so, his answer wasn’t very encouraging.

“I can’t tell you what my confidence level would be,” he said
through interpreter Roger Kahlon. “My knees are pretty calmed down
right now, in that sense I feel pretty good.”


“I haven’t been in the outfield in more than a year. I have to see how I feel once I get out there.”

Girardi is surely hoping that the Yanks can chase Cole Hamels early and he won’t even have to worry about using Godzilla.

Hunter Strickland fractured his hand punching a door after Monday’s poor performance

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Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.

Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.

Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.

Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.