Farhan Zaidi may not be a believer, but he also is not a nonbeliever. The Giants boss signaled Sunday morning that he would like to see more from this team before he makes moves at the trade deadline.
By Sunday afternoon, the Giants wanted to send a message of their own to the president of baseball operations.
“We know he’s a pretty smart guy. So he’s gonna watch the team, and I think he sees a team that’s playing good baseball and not playing good baseball,” said the winning pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, who tossed seven scoreless innings in the 1-0 victory over the Cardinals at Oracle Park. “And you can tell by just the way things have been going and how it’s going to look in a month. … If we keep showing that we can hit and pitch and obviously we have the bullpen to do what we need to do in the long run.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s minds in here that he’s going to do what it takes to win ballgames.”
First with his arm and then with his mouth, Samardzija tried to turn Zaidi into a deadline buyer.
It’s a tough ask from a team that moved 5 1/2 games out of the second wild card as the first half closed, a somewhat deceiving number because of the nature of the NL; more relevantly, they also would have to leapfrog eight teams to sneak into the slot. Still, a team that was 22-34 as May ended has gone 19-14 since.
“It’s a different vibe. There’s no getting around it,” Bruce Bochy said after Evan Longoria’s homer was the only run they needed. “Winning brings that, but along with that are big hits. I’ve said that — that brings energy. We’ve been swinging the bats better. We got shut down today from a good pitcher [Jack Flaherty], but you still had that feeling that you were going to win the ballgame.
“You can feel the energy in the clubhouse, in the dugout. To get this win, it’s good for this club.”
It’s good for the players and makes things more complicated for Zaidi, long thought to be a shoo-in deadline seller (which, by all odds, he still figures to be).
But the feel of the clubhouse has changed as the results have.
Longoria said he hadn’t glanced at the wild-card standings, wishing to remain ignorant for the moment. But he’s felt it, too.
“There’s definitely more confidence coming to the ballpark right now,” said the third baseman who slugged his fifth home run in six games. “Obviously it comes with winning — it comes with success on the field. It’s tough to create that when you’re not winning and you’re not going well.”
But the Giants are, and they are going well. Can it last?
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