SAN DIEGO — It is common, when a team is going through a stretch like this, for the manager to be asked about shuffling the lineup. Perhaps a struggling star needs to be moved down in the lineup, and after Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Padres, Bruce Bochy was asked if he thinks Evan Longoria needs a break from the No. 5 spot.
“I don’t know… do you think?” he said, his eyes wide. “Obviously these are things we’re talking about, what is the best way to go, but it’s not one guy. We’ve got three or four guys who are still trying to find it here in the early go.”
You could argue it’s even more than that, and Bochy later had a more telling comment.
“When someone gets really hot, you move them, but that’s not the case right now,” he said.
The staff can meet for hours a day, but there’s not much that can be changed when most of a lineup is slumping or inconsistent. Joe Panik got off to a hot start and has remained on track, and he looks poised to hit first or second all year. Buster Posey saw his hitting streak snapped Friday, but he’s still batting .341.
Other than that …
- Andrew McCutchen has two walk-offs but he’s also batting just .204. He came up in a big spot in the seventh and bounced into a double play, dropping to 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position.
- Brandon Crawford had three singles on Friday but he entered the day batting .225.
- Brandon Belt had two singles, but he continues to strike out in big spots.
- On his birthday, Hunter Pence went hitless in four at-bats, dropping his average to .200.
- Longoria struck out three times, dropping to .149.
“We’re still having a tough time getting that big hit,” Bochy said. “That’s got to pick up here. We’ve got to find a way to get these runners in.”
The game was the 13th of the season and the Giants have been held to zero or one run in seven of them. But they also scored 10 runs against Felix Hernandez, seven in a thrilling win over the Dodgers on Saturday, and seven here on Thursday. That kind of inconsistency has managed to keep them around .500. It has also made it difficult to truly make lineup changes.
Bochy said the staff will continue to talk, but don’t expect anything drastic on Saturday. The Giants are facing a left-handed starter, so it’s not an ideal time to give too many of the regulars a breather. The heart of the lineup is right-handed.
The frustration is building, but Bochy remains hopeful this group will come out of the funk. He’s hoping the inconsistency ends soon.
“You look at how the season has gone and we’ve been pretty good or it’s been a rough go,” he said. “Seven games, one run or less, that’s not going to work.”