Giants

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The orange-and-black duffel bags were placed in front of lockers Wednesday morning, a reminder to Giants players that they needed to pack up before leaving in the afternoon.

The Giants will get a much-needed day off Thursday, but the road ahead isn't any easier, or any less intense. For nearly a month they have sent a daily message to management that this group does not want to be broken up, but there's still some uncertainty about what the roster will look like when the the teams return to Oracle Park on August 5. 

They hoped to get greedy Wednesday, sending one last message on the homestand, but Tyler Beede gave up three homers and the lineup could not take advantage of a Cubs squad that lost planned starter Jon Lester to an illness in the morning, Anthony Rizzo to a mid-game ejection, and Kris Bryant to knee soreness. The Giants lost 4-1, but still ended up 5-2 on an important seven-game homestand. 

"What a great job they've done," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I can't tell you how hard they've been fighting. They've got to be running on fumes. You look at the workload and the innings they've played, this day off came at a good time."

That holds true for the front office, too. Farhan Zaidi and Co. have enjoyed this run, even as it's thrown a wrench into previous plans. Before Wednesday's game, one member of that group thought about the last three weeks and summed it up simply: "It's been a lot of fun."

 

But the Giants still have decisions to make and could use a day to clear their heads and figure out what to make of a team that remains out of playoff position and got outscored 27-22 while winning five of seven on the homestand. 

The best informed guess at this point is that Madison Bumgarner stays put. But the Giants have three or four relievers who could fetch a nice return in a market desperate for true sellers, and they figure to deal at least one of them before Tuesday's trade deadline. If the last seven games showed anything, it's that there's relief depth. 

That position was reinforced Wednesday when Drew Pomeranz came out of the bullpen to get Beede out of a bases-loaded jam, throwing 95-96 mph for a second straight outing. Trevor Gott and Sam Coonrod took over from there, but a late Giants rally attempt against Clubs reliever Craig Kimbrel fell short. 

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That made for an increasingly rare clubhouse scene. No music. No smoke machine. No quotes about how this feels like 2016 or one of the championship years. It was a tired group, one in need of a day off before a three-city trip that could include some serious roster changes. 

"We'll catch our breath here," Bochy said, "And see if we can keep it going."