DENVER Giants manager Bruce Bochy didnt stare directly atAngel Pagan throughout Fridays pregame meeting. His message was meant for thegroup, even if some players needed to hear it more than others.
But clearly, Pagan was the most frustrated hitter in theGiants lineup. His mind had becoming a tangle of frustration and fixation. Afree agent after the season, and with the outfield suddenly pinched with thearrival of Hunter Pence, you couldnt blame Pagan for feeling a sense ofurgency panic, even to start putting up numbers.
Sitting him wouldve been the easiest course of action. ButGregor Blanco hasnt been a dynamo in the leadoff spot of late, either. And theGiants know what kind of everyday impact Pagan can make when hes healthy andin a good frame of mind. They saw it just a couple months ago, when he hitsafely in a remarkable 46 of 48 games. They saw the way he efficiently stolebases and put himself into scoring position. They knew he could be every bitthe spark that Andres Torres was in 2010.
So Bochy held that meeting, and challenged his hitters to manup and compete better.
REWIND: Bochy challenges Giants
Then he put Pagan in the leadoff spot for the first timesince May 22.
Pagan responded in the Giants 16-4 victory over theColorado Rockies. He finished a home run away from the cycle while also drawinga walk the first time hes reached base four times in a game via hit or walk sinceMay 18 -- 62 games ago.
RECAP: Giants 16, Rockies 4
Pagans problems mostly have been from the left side, and hewas batting right-handed when he doubled and walked against Jonathan Sanchez.But Pagan later cranked an RBI triple from the left side against right-handerMike Ekstrom, and he also reached on an infield single.
He scored aggressively on a wild pitch, too.
He put himself in position to utilize his speed something hehadnt done while the strikeouts were piling up.
That was huge for us, and for him, Bochy said. He reallyput together a nice game. Sometimes you end up fighting yourself instead ofdoing what youre supposed to do, and thats competing.
Pagan said he appreciated Bochys message, calling it awakeup call.
But he also credited hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulensand hitting coordinator Joe Lefebvre for helping him key on some mechanicalthings he was doing in previous seasons.
A good game like that is a good start for me, Pagan said. Imade an adjustment in the cage and I took it out there. But tomorrow is anotherday. I need to keep doing it, and thats the most important thing.
That meeting was very encouraging. We needed somebody topick us up because the energy level was down. We have to be honest about that.We needed to go out and have fun.
The Giants need more games like this from Pagan.
"We need him," Buster Posey said. "Hes going to be huge for us. With his speed,he can do a lot of things, so it was nice to see him swinging the bat welltonight."