The San Francisco Giants got a scare when second baseman Marco Scutaro had to come out of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series with an injured hip after St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday slid into him.
Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reported some good news on Tuesday, as Scutaro's X-Rays came back negative.
Bochy: Scutaro had x-rays, they were negative. Said he was pretty sore. Will be evaluated tomorrow.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) October 16, 2012
The fact that Scutaro is sore should come as no surprise. Holliday's slide was ugly and bent Scutaro's right leg and hip in a way that they shouldn't.
But the best news for Scutaro and the Giants is that it happened on Monday. Since the two teams traveled to St. Louis after the game, the schedule works out well for the Giants. They have an off-day on Tuesday before going back to the park for Game 3 Wednesday.
That extra day of rest can make all the difference in the world for a player like Scutaro. He is not going to feel 100 percent overnight—at least, I assume he won't—but by getting constant treatment and having time to relax, he can be in playing shape for Wednesday.
Scutaro's bat is really invaluable for the Giants. He isn't going to get a lot of recognition because he is hitting just .250/.300/.286 in 28 postseason at-bats, but it is the way he handles himself in the box.
In those 28 at-bats, Scutaro has struck out just once. He has such great bat control and feel for the strike zone that he always forces the defense to make a play in order to get him out.
Plus, if you believe in the notion of a "productive out." Scutaro is more likely than anyone on the Giants to move a runner from second to third with a grounder to the left side of the infield or a sacrifice bunt.
Defensively is where the hip concerns me the most. He is going to have to move to his left and right and pivot when turning a double play, so attention must be paid to fielding drills on Wednesday.
But the key is having a whole day off to get healthy. Scutaro is going to do all he can to convince everyone that he is ready to go. The Giants need him to keep their offensive mojo going.