Opening Day Pre-game Notes

It’s finally here!

Opening day at AT&T Park has finally arrived. It seems like it’s been forever since Madison Bumgarner’s magnificent Game 5 of the World Series. The Giants and Bruce Bochy are ready.

“It’s great to be home….This is a huge day. I’ll say something to the guys as we go through the ceremony. Hopefully they really take the time to reflect and step back and see what they did accomplish.”

What they accomplished was a remarkable third World Series win in five years. What they accomplished was bringing a city together, yet again. And later today, they’ll celebrate by raising that championship banner with 40,000-plus people cheering them on. For the Giants’ skipper, it’s something that’ll never get old.

“I think you have to look at each [championship] and how really amazing each one was. The first one, obviously you’re never gonna forget that…but you look at how we had to do it last year – playing seven games, winning Game 7 on the road, starting the Wild Card on the road, starting as underdogs against Washington and St. Louis and Kansas City. It’s really amazing what these guys did…so this one’s going to have its own special meaning.”

After the banner is raised, then what?

“And then it’s time to go to work.”

Rookie Chris Heston will take the mound for San Francisco, the first rookie to start an Opening Day for the Giants since Alan Fowlkes in 1982. Bochy isn’t worried, though, saying that Heston has “a great way about him…I think he’s honored to be pitching today…he looks loose and relaxed. I’m not worried about him.”

Heston was impressive in his first start of the season, going six innings and surrendering just one run against the Diamondbacks. With short outings from Bumgarner and Jake Peavy to finish out the weekend in San Diego, the Giants will look for Heston to go at least six again. Yusmeiro Petit is getting a rest today in the bullpen, and Bochy would like to stay away from Ryan Vogelsong if possible.

With Brandon Belt returning to first base on Sunday, the Giants are a step closer to full health. Casey McGehee is available today to come off the bench.

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