The San Francisco Giants won six of their final seven games before the All-Star break to improve to 57-33. Things have gone downhill ever since.
The Giants (77-66) are 20-33 (.377) over their last 53 games and trail the Los Angeles Dodgers (81-62) by four games in the NL West. They are atop the NL Wild Card, but the Mets (76-68) and Cardinals (75-68) are nipping at their heels.
The Giants have won three of the last six World Series title, but is this a championship team?
“I remember talking to Javy Lopez earlier this year, and he told me that this team, out of all the teams he’s been on and all the championship teams he’s been on with San Francisco, that this team was special because of the starting staff,” 11-year MLB vet Mike Morse said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “They do have their problems when it comes to hitting, when it comes to the homers and stuff. I don’t think anybody has 20 homers on the team. But the thing is, that starting pitching staff, no matter what’s going on, (can carry them). . . . Since the break, they’ve had their little spurts. They haven’t been that great of a team. But that starting pitching staff is really good, is really good. So it’s tough to say they’re not going to be able to do it. They’re still in there. I still think they’re a strong ball club. This part of the season, (Bruce) Bochy is going to into that clubhouse and he’s going to give this unbelievable speech and it’s going to fire everybody up and you’re going to see Hunter Pence just go in another gear, Buster Posey is going to get two-out RBI base hits like it’s his job, and they’re going to come together. It’s just how it is. It’s the way they do (it).”
Morse, who won a World Series with the Giants in 2014, knows firsthand just how effective and inspiring Bochy can be.
“He’s a players’ manager,” Morse said. “ He understands the game. He understands it from a players’ perspective. And a lot of times when we get far away from the game, we start forgetting how tough the grind is and how tough it is just on a daily basis with your family and whatever it may be. But he does a lot of things where if there’s a long trip from, say, San Fran to Miami, he’ll make it a family trip so the wives and your kids can come on the plane, just to lighten things up. Little stuff like that goes so far when it comes to a player just backing his manager. If you got a guy that’s a family man and he’s not doing that great and he’s had a bad month and he’s been away from his family, it can bring you down a little bit. But Bochy always puts family in there. If you’re also not batting that great, you never see a guy all of a sudden go down in the order. Bochy will actually raise you up. He’ll come to you and be like, ‘You’re going to have a great day today. You’re going to bat fourth for me. I know it.’ He’s going to fire you up in those kind of ways. A lot of managers call him up and talk to him and ask him questions, so he’s respected. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame for sure.”