9/19/2013 4:48 P.M. ET
Slumping Posey to keep getting opportunities
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy's response to Buster Posey's batting slump is to give the reigning National League Most Valuable Player more plate appearances. No benchings, no mental rests, just an occasional day off following a night game.
Slump is a word rarely linked to Posey. But he's indeed struggling at the plate. Posey is batting .048 (1-for-21) with one RBI in six games on this trip. He hasn't driven pitches with his usual frequency, having collected eight extra-base hits (six doubles, two home runs) since the All-Star break. Posey is also playing with a small fracture on the tip of his right ring finger.
Bochy believes that Posey is partly a victim of high expectations.
"With Buster, the bar is set so high," Bochy said Thursday. "When he does make an out, because of who he is, you go, 'What's going on with Buster?' But he feels good."
Bochy acknowledged that Posey hasn't duplicated the second halves he sustained in 2010 (.283 batting average, 29 extra-base hits) or 2012 (.385 batting average, 38 extra-base hits, 1.102 OPS). But Bochy maintained complete faith in his two-time All-Star catcher.
"He's probably as hard on himself as much as anybody," Bochy said. "You're going to get the best you have from him, no matter what the situation."
Bochy has Giants refocused on little things
NEW YORK -- The Giants aren't waiting until Spring Training to address their flaws.
San Francisco's marginal improvement in recent weeks can be attributed to the team's redoubled focus in pregame drills and with their approach. Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged Thursday that he and his staff have had to "be more demanding" about "the little things that got away from us, both on defense and the offense."
The Giants' defensive upgrade was demonstrated by their recent 13-game errorless streak, which matched a franchise record.
"On the defensive side lately, we've been more of the club we are instead of the club we became earlier in the year," Bochy said.
Bochy has strived to remind the Giants that "every pitch counts," which is the way they played while winning two of the past three World Series.
"There have been a lot of games where productive outs would have made a difference," Bochy said. "We've had plays in the outfield where we drift mentally. ... These are things I'll go through."
Bochy cited the July 26-28 series against the Chicago Cubs as an example of much that went wrong with the Giants this year. They hit .160 (15-for-94) overall, including 4-for-23 (.174) with runners in scoring position, and committed two errors in each of the first two games. The Giants lost each game by one run.
Since then, the Giants have sharpened their intensity at the plate -- "grinding out" at-bats, as Bochy likes to say. They've recorded their top three scoring games, beginning with a 14-10 victory at Miami on Aug. 16. They entered Thursday batting .289 for September, their best figure for any month.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.