SAN FRANCISCO -- At 23 years old, Madison Bumgarner again is guaranteed of making a start when it matters most.
Bumgarner was named the starter for Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds, a team he shut out on one hit June 28 at AT&T Park. Will anything change Sunday when he faces them again?
"I hope not," he said. "It worked out pretty good the first time."
Bumgarner gave up just five runs over four appearances in the 2010 postseason and made a memorable start in Game 4 of the World Series, throwing eight shutout innings against the Texas Rangers.
"It's fun, and it's what you work so hard all year for," Bumgarner said. "You get a chance for it all to pay off."
Bumgarner was 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA this season and won 10 of his 15 starts at AT&T Park while posting a 2.38 home ERA. That made it a relatively easy decision for manager Bruce Bochy, who earlier this week named Matt Cain his Game 1 starter.
Bochy was not ready to announce his other postseason starters, saying Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum all could be available out of the bullpen this weekend. Game 3 isn't until Tuesday, and Bochy indicated he will hold off as long as possible before naming a starter.
The Giants still are debating several decisions, including the postseason fates of Aubrey Huff and Francisco Peguero, who were among the players at an optional workout Thursday.
Might that include an unlikely comeback?
"No, this team is set," Sanchez said. "I'm just trying to be with the guys and do anything I can, even if that's just providing a little instruction or support."
Sanchez had back surgery in July but said he feels great and has played in several instructional league games as a designated hitter.
Sanchez is a free agent at the end of the season and intends to try to make a team next year. He said he was confident he would be fully healthy by the start of spring training.
"I'm glad to see he's back in the dugout," Bochy said. "That's great news."