Giants’ roster includes 11 players from 2010 champions

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Less than half of the Giants’ current roster remains from the team that won the World Series in 2010. There are only 11 holdovers, or 12 if you include Game 1 starter Barry Zito despite his not being on the actual playoff roster in 2010.

Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News has the full breakdown, with the biggest additions since 2010 being Ryan Vogelsong, Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and of course NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro.

Meanwhile, the Tigers actually have three holdovers from the 2006 team that lost in the World Series to the Cardinals: Justin Verlander, Ramon Santiago, and Omar Infante, who left and played for two other teams before coming back in the middle of this season.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

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The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.