Bay Area Baseball

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July 6, 2013
Giants pre-game notes, lineups: Waiting for the breakthrough

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's kind of an unusual day here at AT&T Park. Along with the 4:15 p.m. start, the Giants are having their family day on the field, meaning no team stretch or on-field batting practice. Bruce Bochy had his pre-game media session in his office, and he spent much of it discussing the general mood of the Giants amid a skid that has seen them lose 10 of their last games and 15 of 19 to fall seven games under .500, including last night's 10-2 drubbing in the series opener against the Dodgers.

Bochy's main message: The Giants aren't moping and the mood in the clubhouse and dugout has been "pretty good despite what we're going through." Bochy has maintained, and repeated this afternoon, that what it often takes for a team to snap out of a funk like this can be as simple as one well-pitched game or one clutch hit. Something like that, he said, can be "viral," and lead to a run like the Giants made in 2010.

"It just hasn't happened to this point," Bochy said. "I don't think they're doubting themselves that it will happen."

One thing that Bochy made pretty clear -- big changes to the roster aren't expected, especially if the Giants keep playing like they are right now. Yesterday's move of swapping Juan Perez out for Cole Gillespie in the outfield was an attempt to shake things up. Otherwise, Bochy said, "These are our guys."

"Even though it feels like it's been forever, it's been what, three weeks, maybe a month," Bochy said. "That is getting long, no getting around that, but still they're our guys and we've got to stay behind them. I believe that, and like I said, I think overall the attitude despite our struggles has been pretty good."

If the Giants are looking for a well-pitched game, they have a good candidate going today in Madison Bumgarner, who is 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA in nine starts this season following a Giants loss. Of the Giants' five wins in the last 20 games, three have come in Bumgarner starts. Here's the full Giants lineup, with Andres Torres in left field after coming out of last night's game with a calf cramp:

CF Blanco
2B Scutaro
C Posey
3B Sandoval
RF Pence
1B Belt
LF Torres
SS Crawford
P Bumgarner

And the Dodgers' lineup against Bumgarner:

LF Crawford
RF Puig
1B Gonzalez
SS Ramirez
3B Uribe
CF Ethier
C Federowicz
2B Punto
P Fife

* All-Star rosters are due to be unveiled starting at 3:30 p.m. Bochy said his "phone lit up like a Christmas tree" this morning around 6:30 a.m., with calls from the league looking for the roster, which was due at 11 a.m. PT. The tough part, Bochy said, is always deciding which deserving players are going to be left off the roster, but he said he enjoys the process of going through the candidates and learning more about the players, which included delving into some advanced statistics courtesy of the Giants' baseball operations staff.

"They give you a different perspective with WAR and all that, instead of just RBIs and hits," Bochy said. "I enjoyed that part of it."

Bochy didn't tip his hand on any selections, but did say there were deserving candidates from several of the contending teams in the N.L. Central -- the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates -- that had to be left off due to numbers. Bochy also said he did weigh last year's World Series run a little into consideration of deserving Giants players. We'll find out the full rosters soon.

* Santiago Casilla is scheduled to pitch in back-to-back minor-league rehab games on Sunday and Monday, the last step before he can return to the Giants. Bochy said he wasn't sure where Casilla will pitch, but it keeps the right-hander on track to return by the end of the homestand.

* Chad Gaudin is a go to oppose Clayton Kershaw in the series finale tomorrow. The Giants will have to make a roster move to activate Gaudin, which Bochy said he'll likely announce tomorrow.

* One note from last night: According to the game notes, Juan Uribe's seven RBIs last night were they most by any former Giant in a game against San Francisco, topping the previous record of six. Five players had done that, most recently Shawon Dunston, who drove in six runs for the Cardinals against the Giants on June 22, 2000.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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