The people in the Buster Posey, Joe Panik, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford jerseys through the first half of the season have been impostors.
“That’s not who they are,” Bruce Bochy said Sunday.
The Giants believe they’ll uncover the mystery and return the baseball star to his rightful jersey.
Through 88 games of the first half, the Giants’ offensive core has mostly been missing, numbers down across the board that put the Giants at 40-48 entering Sunday’s first-half finale against the Cardinals at Oracle Park. Posey (.696 OPS), Panik (.625), Longoria (.742) and Crawford (.635) have brought down an offense that has only been buoyed recently through small upticks and the emergence of newcomers such as Alex Dickerson.
“I just expect them to get up to their numbers,” Farhan Zaidi said before the game as the president of baseball operations held court. “As veteran guys, they’ve done it year in and year out, figure the positive progression.”
Zaidi pointed at the team’s surge, 18-14 since June 1, which may have complicated the team’s plans as sellers but also has seen veterans begin to show life.
“I also think there’s just the level of energy in the clubhouse has been higher, with how the team’s been playing, the offense we’ve had the last month or so,” he said. “And I think that’s been energizing for some of those guys. Early in the year that was a little bit of a struggle and I think that might have fed into the performance a little bit.
“I think we trust the track record. As a team, offensively, we’re trending in a way that tends to pick guys up.”
Zaidi can think long term; he will be here a long time. Bochy’s mindset is more immediate, the manager saying he will retire at season’s end.
The downticks have made his last couple seasons duds, but he said he believes they will be able to reclaim their glory.
“It’s in them. They’re not old,” Bochy said of Posey (32), Panik (28), Longoria (33) and Crawford (32). “… It’s still there. It’s gotta come from within, and that’s what we’ll see.”
With Posey, around whom the team is built, Bochy pointed at his August hip surgery that ended his last season prematurely as reason for the struggles. With Longoria, he’s been encouraged by his recent play, including a four-homer stretch against the Padres.
“Look at Longo, look at what he did in San Diego. I mean, that’s who he is,” Bochy said. “And that’s what they got to believe in. That’s probably more important than what I believe. I just think it’s just going to get better with all these guys.”
So far, that has not been the reality.
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