MIAMI — After a seven-hit game Monday night, Brandon Crawford lost the bat that did all the damage. The Hall of Fame took it back to Cooperstown, and Crawford went 0-for-4 on Tuesday with his new piece of lumber.
“I think that was why,” Crawford said.
There was no immediate explanation, though, for what is going on with some other Giants bats. A night after a thrilling 14-inning win, the Giants fell 2-0 to the Marlins and managed just three hits. They were completely overmatched by Tom Koehler and failed to build on Monday’s Crawford-led win.
“It’s still not clicking,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who returned after a one-night hospital stay. “We had a heck of a game yesterday, a great comeback. We’re just not firing on all cylinders.”
Bochy made yet another tweak to his slumping lineup, moving Crawford into the cleanup spot with Buster Posey getting a rest day and bumping Conor Gillaspie up to fifth. There’s only so much Bochy can do, though, because the guys who aren’t hitting are locked-in starters.
Joe Panik was 0-for-3 and hit into a game-ending double play with Posey on deck. He is 4-for-40 since coming off the DL. Denard Span has five hits in his last 24 at-bats.
“They’ll get it going,” Bochy said. “They’re too good of hitters not to. Their resumes show that.”
The worst slump belongs to Hunter Pence. He has three hits in his last 24 at-bats with 12 strikeouts.
“We know Hunter — occasionally he goes into a little deal, but he comes out of it,” Bochy said.
The manager struck an optimistic tone after the loss, which one will do when the previous night was spent in a hospital. The best sign Tuesday actually came from the mound. Matt Moore walked five in six innings, but he allowed just three hits and the two runs. Both of them came early during a rally sparked by a broken-bat double to the track by Giancarlo Stanton.
“He’s probably the strongest guy in the game,” Moore said. “It doesn’t surprise me he’s able to do that. I’m sure he’s hit a broken-bat homer before.”
Moore took the loss hard, and he said he needs to do a better job of making hitters “earn it.” He has given up just six hits in two starts for the Giants, but he has walked 11 in 12 innings.
“Walks are singles,” Moore said. “I’ve just got to be more competitive early on in counts.”
Moore has the stuff to figure it out quickly. Many of the Giants have been searching for much longer, and there are no signs that this skid is ending. Bochy noted that the Giants have faced good teams and good pitchers, but it doesn’t get an easier. They’ll go home to the Orioles, Pirates and Mets, and no matter what happens before Friday’s game at AT&T Park, the division is back up for grabs.
On June 26, the Giants led the NL West by eight games. They walked off the field Tuesday with a half-game lead and the knowledge that the Dodgers were one win away from wiping the slate clean.
“There’s a lot of season left,” Crawford said. “We’re pretty good at taking it one game at a time.”
They are. But if this season is to continue into October, the Giants will have to once again start putting three or four good ones together at a time.