Bochy keeps Giants loose as steep climb looms


The San Francisco Giants face an improbably steep climb to a potential postseason berth, but you would never know by the level of the team’s relaxation.

Prior to first pitch of Sunday’s 10-3 win over NL West division rival San Diego Padres, a handful of players sat back in their clubhouse chairs taking in some opening day football.

Bochy, who is leading his team as a calming influence, sat in the dugout before the game singing “Wild Thing,” then joked that he would send the same lineup as last night’s in the game, except he could put Bumgarner, who tossed a one-hit shutout a day ago, in that lineup.

With only 19 games left on the schedule the Giants face a 7-1/2 game deficit in both the division and second Wild Card races. A series sweep over the sub-.500 Padres could be the catapult the Giants were seeking for the campaign’s final three weeks.

The 27 runs scored by the Giants in the Padres series came on the power of three home runs and a combined 16-for-40 (.400) hitting with runners in scoring position.

As impressive as the offensive outburst has been, it has come without several key figures in the home team’s lineup. Outfielders Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco and Nori Aoki, along with infielders Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik are sidelined and looking to return before season’s end.

Of Crawford’s calf injury, Bochy said:

“Really nothing has changed too much. He’s going to play catch out here today, and he will hit off the tee today … He could be available to pinch hit. It’s doubtful, but if he goes and hits off the tee and feels really well (he may be available).”

Of Pence, he added:

“Pence ran on the treadmill inside (the clubhouse) yesterday and he’ll probably hit off a tee tomorrow, so that’s good news. And once he starts swinging I’ll have a better idea of where we’re at with him.”

The skipper concluded by saying that he had no update regarding the concussions to Blanco and Aoki, saying “that’s more week-to-week progress.”

Backup catchers Andrew Susac and Hector Sanchez, both out for the remainder of the season, are both set to begin rehab workouts in Arizona.

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