05/12/12 8:24 PM ET
Crawford still starting, but D needs to improve
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
"Right now, he's our shortstop," Bochy said. "He's going to be out there, he has to deal with games like this. It's part of maturing as a player. You have a young player and you realize he's going to have games when he struggles."
Against the D-backs on Friday night, Crawford committed an error on a routine ball to start the third inning. The runner eventually came around to score.
"I don't want to make excuses, but there was a funny spin on it because it was a left-hander," Crawford said. "It was down on the ground the whole way then it came up on me. It's a play I need to make every time, though."
Later in the game, a line drive off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt deflected off Crawford's glove and into left field. The play wasn't ruled an error, but the 25-year-old acknowledged he should have made the catch.
"Anything that hits my glove I feel like I can make a play on," he said. "I want to make that play, but it was hit hard and I didn't."
Crawford ranks 27th out of 30 in errors, with seven, among qualifying Major League shortstops this season and he's batting .211 with one homer and eight RBIs.
"Again, I don't like using that excuse that I'm a young player, but I am probably trying to rush some things," Crawford said. "It's probably part of growing up and becoming a complete, more veteran player."
Bochy is remaining confident with his sophomore player, who batted eighth Saturday, but the manager recognizes the defense has to improve.
"He knows what his job is and that's to play shortstop," Bochy said. "We know there are going to be ups and downs, but we have to catch the ball better. It is concerning because it has been going on too long."
Looking for spark, Giants slot Belt in two-hole
PHOENIX -- For the first time in his 88-game Major League career, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt batted second in the lineup Saturday.
Manager Bruce Bochy made the move because he felt having a more patient hitter in that spot would help jump-start the Giants' offense, anemic of late.
Entering Saturday's matchup with the D-backs, the Giants had scored six combined runs in their previous four games.
"He's a pretty disciplined hitter, so I think it'll be good," Bochy said. "I think any time you try to get some rallies going, you want to get someone who has good discipline, who can get you a walk and get on base."
Belt ranks second on the team in walks with 10, however, the 24-year-old boasts that number in only 60 at-bats.
Melky Cabrera, who leads the Giants in walks with 12, has 131 at-bats.
Belt is batting just .250, but with the help of the base on balls, his on-base percentage is .357.
"Table setters, we've talked about putting Belt in there for a while," Bochy said. "I want to see how he goes."
Bochy gradually easing Huff back into action
PHOENIX -- Even though Giants infielder Aubrey Huff has made three pinch-hit appearances since coming off the disabled list Monday, including one Friday night against the D-backs, manager Bruce Bochy said he's not quite ready to start.
The 35-year-old went on the DL because of an anxiety disorder that flared up when the club was in New York at the end of April.
"He's missed some time playing but also mentally," Bochy said. "He's a little bit into this, so I'll try to get him a couple at-bats in a game here and there. Then get him in there."
Huff hit a pinch-hit single in the top of the eighth inning Friday off of D-backs relief pitcher Bryan Shaw.
"It's a great sign," Bochy said. "He saw some pitches. I think he's feeling better and better; he's close. We'll use him off the bench so he can really feel comfortable."
On the season, Huff is batting .194 with a homer, four RBIs and an on-base percentage of .302.