Based on numbers alone, especially September numbers, manager Bruce Bochy would be hard-pressed to leave Barry Zito out of the playoff rotation.
Presumably, we know the top three: Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum. Then comes the tougher choice: the left-handed Zito or the right-handed Ryan Vogelsong.
Bochy already said all five starters would likely make the roster. That doesn’t mean it’ll be a five-man rotation. That simply means one will be in the bullpen.
Zito is the hotter pitcher, if his 2.66 September ERA is any indication. The Giants have won all four of his starts in the month, over the Arizona Diamondbacks twice, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies.
Vogelsong doesn’t match up. His September ERA is 8.66. The Giants lost his first three starts in the month, to Arizona twice and Colorado. Vogelsong won his last start, over San Diego, his first win since Aug. 30.
He has very little time to convince Bochy he should be the No. 4 guy. Until further notice, Zito’s numbers would appear to give him the nod.
NOTES: Second baseman Marco Scutaro will take a 12-game hit streak into today’s game against the Diamondbacks. Since joining the Giants in late July, he has hit safely in 44 of 53 games. … The Giants announced that postseason ticket availability is extremely limited and urged fans to visit www.sfgiants.com to register for the opportunity to purchase tickets. The deadline to register for the divisional series ticket opportunity has been extended noon today. Fans will be notified if their names are selected for an opportunity to purchase tickets.