Programming note: The Giants and Phillies are underway on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the game for Giants Postgame Live.
PHILADELPHIA – Bruce Bochy saves the phrase for special occasions. He trotted it out Wednesday, after the Giants decided to keep their roster together at the trade deadline.
“This is not the club that we are, and I’m convinced of it,” the Giants’ manager said. “This is an aberration. We’re all surprised. But you put your big boy pants on and deal with it and go out and play.”
The Giants are in last place and all but mathematically out of the playoffs. But there was a lightness of being in the clubhouse after Hunter Pence, Javier Lopez and Tim Lincecum remained Giants after the non-waiver deadline passed Wednesday.
All three wanted to remain with the team. And that fact wasn’t lost on their manager.
“It’s good to hear. It is,” Bochy said. “They fact they want to be here, despite our struggles, … it’s important that guys want to be here and they want to be a Giant.”
Although the results might not show it while they’ve lost five consecutive and eight of nine, Bochy said the players remain passionate. He even saw “some good snaps” in Tuesday’s loss.
“They’re taking it pretty hard, believe me,” Bochy said. “They care about winning, and for the fans.”
Bochy stressed that the Giants have something to play for, even if it’s just finishing strong to carry some good mojo into next season. With a good finish, and although it’s a longshot, even climbing back to .500, it would reinforce the notion that this season is the aberration after a similar group won a World Series title last year.
“Oh, I think it’s crucial that we do play better the rest of the year,” Bochy said.
So break out those big-boy pants.
Bochy talked to Roger Kieschnick, who will make his big league debut in left field. His message: Be yourself, play your game and let it all out.
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Bochy said. “Don’t back off. We’ve had players come up and be a little nervous, be a little in awe of what’s up here. That’s normal. But you try to get that out of the way as soon as possible.”
Kieschnick is a power hitter who will swing and miss, but a lot of his hits go for extra bases. He also has a plus arm, so definitely pay attention if he gets a chance to throw out a runner.
With no trade to digest, the faithful can begin the passionate Brett Pill/Brandon Belt debate anew. Pill is starting for the second consecutive day, this time against a right-handed pitcher. Bochy said he wanted to give Belt a couple days off as a mental break. But it's going to be very interesting to see how the playing time breaks down at first base, and what Belt does with the opportunities that are given to him.
Buster Posey was still battling the stomach flu Wednesday morning but he’s in the lineup. He’ll be watched carefully.
Public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon couldn’t work the weekend series against the Cubs because she fractured her kneecap in a fall. She was in tears when she realized that she might miss the White House trip; she didn’t go in 2011, either.
But the Giants made special accommodations so that she could go, and she even got to meet President Obama. While most players and club officials were limited to “congratulations” in their interactions with the President as they passed along the handshake rope, Brooks-Moon got a little more attention from the Commander in Chief, who asked about her leg and told her that he admires the job she does.
“She was pretty psyched,” Giants vice president Staci Slaughter said.