DETROIT -- Hector Sanchez is line for the Giants' designated hitter role Saturday when the World Series shifts to an American League park.
The rookie catcher is just 1 for 7 with four strikeouts during the postseason, but manager Bruce Bochy said the switch-hitter looks like the best fit against Anibal Sanchez for Saturday's Game 3 at Comerica Park.
"That's the way I'm leaning," Bochy said Friday. "I could change my mind tonight, but to be honest, that's how I'm thinking right now.
"He's a switch-hitter, and he's had a pretty good year with the bat when he's been out there. He's my D.H. right now."
Sanchez, 22, hit .280 with three home runs and 34 RBIs in 218 at-bats during the regular season as Buster Posey's backup.
During a workout Friday in Detroit, Sanchez said he was excited about the prospect of getting back in the lineup.
"If it's the D.H., I'll just try to help the team," he said. "I'm happy I'm getting an opportunity to play in the World Series. It's amazing."
Sanchez said he has experience as a D.H., including in the minors and playing winter ball in Venezuela.
"It's different," he said. "It's hard, especially in this weather, but you've got to be ready."
His crystal ball was bold, saying the Tigers would take it in five games. Nightengale wrote:
"OK, do you want to talk about starting pitching? This will be a mismatch. The New York Yankees were absolutely clueless against the Tigers' rotation, so can you imagine how the Tigers will destroy the Giants' pea shooters.
"This rotation went 5-1 with a 1.02 ERA this postseason, yielding a .162 batting average. Now, they will be facing the weakest lineup they've seen all year, with not a single left-handed slugger available to counteract the Tigers' right-handed staff."
The esteemed Nightengale, in his 14th year at the newspaper, said he's gotten more than 200 emails -- and it's not exactly fan mail.
He's taking it all in good humor. Asked on Friday at Comerica Park if there was a unifying theme to the messages he's gotten, Nightengale said: "Yeah. That I'm the biggest idiot that ever covered baseball."
He laughed. Nightengale has been through this once before -- in another Tigers series, no less. In 2006, he was so sure that Detroit would cruise past the St. Louis Cardinals that "I tried to be a wiseacre. I said, 'The Tigers in 3.' "
The Cardinals won the World Series in five games.
"I'm still hearing about that one," he said.
"Oh, it was great," the Tigers manager told USA Today. "We had a great time. We were laughing. He looks tremendous. He really looks good.
"I can't remember the last time I saw him, but he looks terrific, and he had the great big smile. I'm just glad he came."
Leyland managed Bonds from 1986-92, while both were with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"The worst part of our careers," Sanchez said Friday. "That field is loud, crazy. I think it's a hard place to concentrate or focus on the game."
Sanchez actually pitched well at the Coliseum, giving up just two runs over 61/3 innings in a 2-0 loss to the A's in Game 3. But the atmosphere stayed with him.
"In the first couple pitches, it was really hard to get a feel for the game," he said. "So, I think on Saturday, everybody is going to be relaxed. We know we are home, and we play really well here."
Tyler Huffman, a journalism major at San Jose State, said the Melkmen became targets during the downfall. "People acted as if we gave him the PEDs," Huffman said. (Read more at tinyurl.com/9zqpvqe)
As a precaution, the Tigers sent Fister for additional tests Friday.
"He looked fine," the manager said. "His eyes looked fine, and the trainers have checked him out, so I think he's fine."
He enjoyed watching the Giants end a 55-year World Series championship dry spell with their 2010 title. Now he says the Tigers, and the city of Detroit, are due for their first title since 1984.
"I think all of us that have ever been a part of the organization think it's time," said Herndon, a hitting coach in the Tigers' farm system. "In '84, there was such a drought, and it's pretty much the same economic thing going on there now."
Though Herndon, who played for the '84 championship team, is pulling for Detroit, he says he's always maintained a connection with the Giants. And he was living in San Francisco, operating a Marin County-based pizza business, during the Bay Bridge Series of 1989.
Herndon marvels at how complete a performance the 2012 Giants have displayed so far in this Fall Classic.
"I haven't seen a team as balanced as this," he said. "They've got pitching, hitting and fielding like I've never seen."
Staff writers Alex Pavlovic and Joe Stiglich contributed to this report.