© Joe Nicholson | USA Today
The Giants are running out of the time. Few people know this better than Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Bochy just watched his team drop two games to a depleted Houston Astros team in near-identical fashion, after two stellar, shutout pitching performances from Dereck Rodriguez and Madison Bumgarner.
“We lost two tough ones, two really tough ones,” Bochy said. “And we have to bounce back from that. Both clubs there are in the same boat, Pittsburgh. The margin of error is narrow. It’s gotten more narrow and it’s important that we find a way to get on a run, on a roll here. That’s the only way it’s going to happen.”
Third baseman Evan Longoria said it was necessary for the Giants to play with “a sense of urgency,” and Bochy concurred.
“We’ve been here before, later than this, but still, we’ve got more teams ahead of us this time,” Bochy said. “But he’s right, there should be that feeling of sense of urgency with everybody.”
The Giants have also been without starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Brandon Belt since mid- and late July, respectively. Bochy said Samardzija threw a bullpen session today, but his timeline is further than Belt’s
“He had a good pen today, 40 pitches,” Bochy said. Threw 20, sat down, took a break, got back out and threw 20. Right now, the plan is for him to throw to hitters Monday in LA. If that all goes well, then he will start his rehab.”
Bochy added that exact date for Belt’s return hasn’t been nailed down.
“Belt was out today, had early batting practice, took grounders, ran the bases,” Bochy said. “So he’s on his way. Don’t know what day we’re going to activate him, but should be early next week.”
Finally, the Giants received another injury scare. Nick Hundley, much like Buster Posey a week ago, took a foul tip to the mask and is undergoing concussion protocol. As a backup, the Giants brought Aramis Garcia – who just played his first game with the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats after spending most of the season with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels – to San Francisco in case Hundley fails the protocol.
“He’s currently going through the protocol, the concussion deal,” Bochy said. “He feels good today. He’s going to take batting practice, do all the stuff on the field as far as baseball activities and he’ll have the docs look at him after batting practice. this just gives us coverage. We think he’s fine, but we had to have somebody here in case he does not get cleared.”