MILWAUKEE – Brandon Crawford has been the Giants’ most consistent hitter thus far. Brandon Belt has been the most inconsistent.
Bruce Bochy’s lineup reflected that Thursday morning. He raised Crawford from eighth to fifth and bumped down Belt a spot to seventh. That might not be a one-day, early-morning scramble, either.
Bochy said he’s likely to keep Crawford higher in the lineup, and he didn’t need to explain his reasoning. Since going hitless in the first two games at Dodger Stadium. Crawford has a .471 on-base percentage. He owns a 10-game hitting streak. And most impressively, he’s hitting .346 with two strikes.
“He shortens up really well now,” Bochy said. “He’s shorter to the ball, his swing is more compact and he’s using the whole field.”
Crawford probably won't hit fifth when Buster Posey returns to the cleanup spot in front of Hunter Pence. But sixth could suit him for awhile.
Posey, meanwhile, is hitting an uncharacteristic .182 with two strikes. As I told you last night, Posey is getting a day off at Miller Park – which would’ve been unthinkable just a few days ago, given that he entered this series 12-for-24 with six home runs here.
Bochy said he was tempted to start Posey at first base but they talked and agreed that a full day off wouldn’t hurt. It’s a coincidence, to be sure, that the Giants are 2-0 thus far on games when Posey isn’t in the lineup.
It’s also a bit co-inky dinky that the Giants are 0-3 in Matt Cain’s starts and 9-3 with everyone else. They'll have to change that behind Cain or else they'll get swept here in Dairyland.