6/30/2013 5:02 P.M. ET
Offensive struggles attributed to over-aggression
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- In the midst of their worst losing streak in three years, the most glaring issue for the Giants has been an inability to produce runs.
San Francisco, which has lost six straight and eight of nine, has scored only four runs over its last three games and posted two runs or fewer in five of the six losses. As a team, the Giants were hitting a measly .219 with a .272 on-base percentage since the streak began entering play Sunday.
Manager Bruce Bochy has attributed much of those offensive struggles to his players pressing at the plate, getting overly aggressive and biting on pitches they would usually sit on in an exaggerated effort to break the slump.
"There's a happy medium in there," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "You want to be patient, but you want to be aggressive with pitches in the zone. So if you get a pitch in the zone, you got to be all in, you got to be fully confident that you're going after the one you want to go after. When you do that, you kind of set yourself up to be more successful.
But it's any professional hitter's natural instinct to try to try to pick each other up by being even more aggressive in the batter's box, something the Giants are fighting as they try to return to their old, more patient ways.
"That's where the problem comes in sometimes, because you'd think you sit back in wait, you're kind of setting yourself up for failure," Belt said. "When in all actuality you're just waiting for a good pitch to hit."
While Bochy has said pressing at the plate can often be contagious, Belt pointed out that the reverse, more positive trend can also come true. If a handful of hitters strick to their usual approach and rediscover a groove, teammates may follow
"You get somebody who sticks with their approach and starts hitting, you get some of those hits to fall in and people just kind of follow along the way," Belt said. "So, hopefully we get that started."
Belt on bench with Posey manning first
DENVER -- Everyday catcher Buster Posey made his second consecutive start at first base on Sunday and said he's dealing with general leg tightness.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, himself a former big league catcher, said it's nothing out of the ordinary for a full-time catcher and he could tell Posey needed a few days off behind the plate. With Posey manning first, Brandon Belt was squeezed out of the lineup.
As San Francisco's offense sputters, many have hoped to see Belt move to left field. While Belt did get some experience in the outfield during Spring Training, Bochy said he still isn't comfortable with him manning left field, especially in the spacious outfield of Coors Field.
"Normal with a lot of catching," Bochy said of Posey. "I wish I could put [Belt] in left field, but at this point I just don't think he's had enough work out there, I don't think in this ballpark."
Bochy said if anyone went down with an injury or otherwise needed to be replaced, he would feel comfortable throwing Belt out there. Though the Rockies started left-hander Drew Pomeranz, the left-handed-hitting Belt is hitting an impressive .321 against southpaws and .247 off right-handers
Belt, who usually hits fifth or sixth, is hitting .333 with 12 hits, a homer and five RBIs over his last 11 games. On the year he was at .263 with eight homers and 34 RBIs entering Sunday, and Bochy talked to his young first baseman before Sunday's game to assure him this is strictly a situational move.
"I don't want him to think he's on the bench now, because that's not the case," Bochy said. "It's just Buster could use another day [off] from behind the plate."
Scutaro dealing with pelvis, back issues
DENVER -- Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro is still battling an issue in which his pelvis locks up, a problem that has contributed to back soreness.
Scuatro said, "It's moving better," and he felt strong enough to convince Giants manager Bruce Bochy to add him into the lineup just before the start of Saturday's game.
"First night [in Denver], he felt good and said he's good to go," Bochy said. "I was going to give him the day off, then he came in and said I feel a lot better, I really want to go. That's why the lineup was changed."
The 37-year-old veteran got the series finale against the Rockies off on Sunday, with Tony Abreu filling his spot at second.
Sunday marks the Giants' 81st game, the season's official midpoint, and Bochy said it's this point in the season when the usual starters start to demand time off.
"With [Joaquin] Arias and [Chad] Gaudin going to the DL, the schedule, these guys are feeling it right now and it's affected us. No question," Bochy said. "But aches and pains are things that a player has to deal with and they need a break."
• Right-hander Chad Gaudin is still on track to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, when's he's eligible. Gaudin took a line drive off the elbow on June 20 and is nursing an elbow contusion.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.