SAN FRANCISCO -- Michael Morse will miss his ninth straight game with an oblique injury. Based on Bruce Bochy's comments Thursday, Morse's availability for this weekend's pivotal series against the NL West-leading Dodgers is in question.
"He's about 50 percent right now. My guess is he's still two or three days away," Bochy said.
"It's coming around a little slower than we hoped, but that's the oblique. They're hard to figure. Hopefully the progress goes a little better today."
Morse is taking "dry swings," meaning he still isn't hitting baseballs against live pitching or off a tee. The Giants don't want to rush him and risk a setback, and they'll have a healthy Angel Pagan and a red hot Joe Panik in the lineup against Los Angeles this weekend -- two things they couldn't say when the Dodgers swept the Giants at AT&T Park in July.
"It's always important to have your guys healthy, especially when you're playing such a good team. You want to be fully loaded so you have your core guys, your best players in there. That's critical in a season when you're playing a very good team with a great pitching staff," said Bochy.
"That's why I'm hoping (Morse's) progress picks up."
Even without everyone healthy, the players sound confident in their chances against the Dodgers, who currently hold a 2.5-game lead in the division.
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"I think we're better than (the Dodgers)," Ryan Vogelsong said in an interview on KNBR Thursday morning.
When I brought up those comments to Bochy, he didn't sound surprised.
"I don't care what team you're playing, that's the way you have to feel to have success. Right now, we've got to feel that way against Arizona," Bochy said.
"If you don't feel that way, you're not only going against the other club. You're playing yourself."