SAN FRANCISCO –- What’s harder than beginning the season with a 4-for-40 slump?
Beginning with a 4-for-40 slump when you have hours to dwell on it and only sporadic chances to do something about it.
“What I’ve been trying to do is hit the ball out of the ballpark every time they give me an opportunity,” said Gregor Blanco, who will get a chance on Wednesday when he gives Angel Pagan a break in center field. “That’s not me. That’s not the player I am.”
Blanco is in a tough spot. He’s the Giants’ fourth outfielder and he expected to play often. But his slow start, coupled with the addition of another left-handed hitting outfielder, Tyler Colvin, will make it tough for him to break into the lineup.
Blanco spent a long time in the film room Tuesday, looking at his at-bats from last September.
“I had to remind myself what kind of player I am,” he said. “Just get back the mentality of, `You can do this. You’ve done it before.’ I need to hit the ball on the ground and use my legs. I need to be myself. I know what I am capable of doing.
“At least we are playing good baseball and in first place. To me, that’s what matters most.”
Blanco made the most of an at-bat off the bench Tuesday night, hitting a double. He's 5 for 41 now.
Pagan’s right knee was barking at him Tuesday night, Bochy said, which is why he took him out as a precaution. Pagan is playable, though, and available off the bench. He’s expected to start all four games in the series against the Miami Marlins beginning Thursday.
Other than Pagan taking a day off, the Giants have a standard lineup against tough Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran. Michael Morse is back at first base, where he’ll play most often against right-handers. And yes, Buster Posey is back behind the plate one day after he missed a tag after the throw beat Jason Heyward to the plate by more than 10 feet.
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Bochy reiterated what he said Tuesday night about what Posey should learn from the missed tag, but perhaps in stronger words: “Be more aggressive. He’s not (always) going to slide into you and make it easy. … You need to be aggressive and apply a firm tag. It’s not just a sweep type of thing all the time.”
Giants coach Bill Hayes already talked to Posey about it Wednesday morning, and Bochy said he would follow up as well.