SAN FRANCISCO -- There's a saying that athletes are supposed to play hurt but aren't expected to play injured. Marco Scutaro apparently did both this season.
"I tried to do whatever I could to help the team win," Scutaro said Wednesday, one day after the Giants announced they were shelving their starting second baseman to allow him to have a pin placed in his left pinkie. Scutaro was diagnosed with mallet finger in the pinkie after he was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh's Tony Watson on June 11, resulting in a finger that was noticeably bent. The pin, to be inserted Friday, will stay in Scutaro's finger for a month and a half in hopes that it will straighten the pinkie.
"That was what I supposed to do when I got hit," Scutaro said. "But I tried to wait a couple of days and keep playing."
By batting with the bent pinkie and favoring it, Scutaro bruised the joint on his left ring finger. He also endured back pain since Spring Training and hip discomfort. Despite these ailments, the Most Valuable Player of last year's National League Championship Series hit .297 with a .357 on-base percentage and made the All-Star team. But he drove in only 31 runs, compared with 74 last year.
Scutaro, who will turn 38 on Oct. 30, was philosophical about his mixed success this year.
"That's part of the game," he said. "You work hard all season to get your body in shape and you never know when you might get hurt."
Bumgarner would have preferred to pitch again
SAN FRANCISCO -- As an employee, Madison Bumgarner accepted the Giants' decision to end his season one start early.
As a competitor, he felt differently.
Asked Wednesday if he would have preferred to pitch once more, Bumgarner replied, "Definitely. Nobody in here's ever going to say, 'Well, I think I'm done this year.'"
But, he added, "That's the front office's job to do whatever they see fit. ... I didn't try to argue too much. They're the boss. I'm working for them. I'm just going to do what they say."
Bumgarner did what he said he would do before the season began. Intent on not giving in to hitters, Bumgarner finished with a 1.033 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), improving in that category for the third year in a row.
Bumgarner also was vastly better at holding runners on base. According to baseball-reference.com, opponents stole eight bases in 15 tries against him, compared with 27 in 37 attempts last year.
The 24-year-old took pride not only in exceeding the 200-inning level for the third consecutive year but also in limiting opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 19 straight starts.
"That means you're keeping your team in the game. That's what we're out there for," he said.
Bumgarner barely missed becoming the franchise's sixth left-hander to amass 200 strikeouts, finishing with 199.
"It would have been nice, I guess," he said. "But I'm not here for personal success."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.