Barry Bonds’ quest to make baseball history may be overshadowing all other aspects of his game.
Manager Felipe Alou says he wants to chat with Bonds before deciding to place the seven-time NL MVP in the starting lineup when the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers continue their weekend series Satrday at AT&T Park.
Bonds was 0-for-3 with an intentional walk in San Francisco’s 6-1 loss in the series opener Friday that kept the 41-year-old superstar at 713 homers— one behind Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list. Since hitting his last homer Sunday against Philadelphia, Bonds is batting just .071 (1-for-14) with five walks.
A bigger concern for Alou, though, is Bonds’ overall play. Alou said—with a smile—that he planned to sit down with Bonds to discuss among other things, the slugger’s status for this contest and what happened in left field on a miscommunication with center fielder Steve Finley.
“I’m going to talk with him,” Alou said. Bonds did not speak with the media.
An eight-time Gold Glove winner, Bonds took just a few steps toward left-center on Willy Aybar’s RBI double in the sixth inning, apparently convinced center fielder Steve Finley had it covered.
Bonds had words with the 41-year-old Finley afterward.
“We know he has a lack of range,” Alou said of Bonds. “It didn’t lose the game for us tonight. But we know he lacks range. We know the reason. He didn’t play last year. He’s not 100 percent in shape right now, and he’s going to be 42. I don’t know many 42-year-olds who have good range.”
Finley said he thought he saw Bonds put up his glove and slowed up, calling it “an honest mistake.”
If Bonds is in the starting lineup, he will face Aaron Sele (1-0, 1.35 ERA), who makes his second start for Los Angeles since being recalled from the minor leagues last Saturday and first against the Giants in nearly six years.
Bonds is 0-for-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and one RBI against the 14-year veteran.
The longtime right-hander signed a minor league deal in January after going 6-12 with a 5.66 ERA in 21 starts last season with Seattle. He is a two-time All-Star and was a member of the Los Angeles Angels’ championship team that defeated the Giants in the 2002 World Series.
Sele made an emergency start Sunday in place of Odalis Perez—out on bereavement leave—and limited Milwaukee to a run and five hits through 6 2-3 innings in a 10-2 win.
“Anytime you’re in a big league atmosphere, it’s a lot of fun,” said Sele. “I was excited to take the mound and hopefully try to contribute in a positive way. You just go out there, try to work quick and get the guys back in and let them do their jobs, too.”
Sele pitched against San Francisco in an interleague game on June 11, 2000, and got the win after allowing two runs and six hits over six innings in a 9-2 victory.
Noah Lowry (1-0, 2.08) returned from the disabled list Monday to make his second start of the season, and held Houston to two runs and seven hits over seven innings in the Giants’ 7-5 win.
Lowry, who went on the 15-day disabled list on April 8 two days after straining a muscle in his right side during the Giants’ season opener, threw 70 of his 106 pitches for strikes.
“I felt like I got my second, third, fourth pitch coming out a little better,” said Lowry, who retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced. “I started out with my fastball and then started mixing in my curve a little bit.”
A 13-game winner in 2005, Lowry is 1-0 with a 1.19 ERA in five appearances, including three starts against Los Angeles. In 22 2-3 innings, he has allowed three runs, nine hits, walked seven and struck out 24.
Los Angeles (18-18) has won six of seven after a season-high five-game losing streak, and will try to move over .500 for the first time since April 10.
San Francisco (17-19) has alternated wins and losses in its last four games.