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Giants Go With 12 Pitchers in Playoffs

September 30, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The San Francisco Giants will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players in the first round of the playoffs, assuring themselves a deep bullpen just in case of injury.

Game 1 starter Jason Schmidt has battled some elbow soreness this season and left-hander Kirk Rueter spent time on the disabled list with a strained throwing shoulder.

The decision left backup second baseman Eric Young off the team. He was acquired Aug. 19 from the Milwaukee Brewers and has said he wanted to get back to the playoffs after playing in the postseason in 1995 for Colorado.

Young hit .251 this season with 34 RBIs, a career-high 15 home runs and 27 stolen bases.

``It was very tough on him,″ manager Felipe Alou said. ``We played the season with 12 pitchers and sometimes 13. We are healthy pitching-wise, as healthy as we could be. We pitched those guys at will. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra pitcher because you never know.″

The Giants opened the playoffs Tuesday against Florida.

Alou, managing in the postseason for the first time at age 68, said he still hadn’t made a final decision on his Game 2 starter, though Sidney Ponson was listed as the probable starter.

Rueter, who’s 6-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 15 home starts this season, was the other option. His ERA at Pacific Bell Park was more than a run lower than it was on the road.

``Keep them guessing over there,″ Alou said. ``Right now we’re 50-50. Ponson is our No. 2 guy, no question about it.″

Both pitchers had been told they could start Wednesday.

``All I have to do is prepare to pitch,″ Ponson said. ``I’m preparing to pitch like I’m going to pitch tomorrow. I’m going to see how Jason pitches and see how he attacks them. If I have to throw Friday, I have to go with the same game plan.″

Longtime outfielder Marvin Benard did not make the roster _ Jeffrey Hammonds was the fourth outfielder kept. After hearing he wouldn’t be on it, the 33-year-old Benard approached trainer Stan Conte about pushing up an arthroscopic surgery he needs on his left knee. He will undergo the procedure Tuesday.

``It’s just going to be a cleanup procedure,″ Conte said. ``Just one that we planned for the end of the season. He asked to move the surgery up to start rehab earlier and be ready for spring training.″

It’s been a bad-luck year for Benard.

He already had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in June to repair torn cartilage after missing most of May following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

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