8/16/2014 4:03 P.M. ET
After gaffes, Blanco staying aggressive on bases
By Ryan Hood / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gregor Blanco has made a handful of curious decisions on the basepaths in the last few weeks, and after two more costly gaffes in the Giants' 5-3 loss on Friday night, manager Bruce Bochy had a meeting with his fastest bench player.
"I talked to him tonight," Bochy said after the game. "It's a fine line between being aggressive and being smart. He can be a very good baserunner. He's just got to keep his focus out there. These guys are trying to make something happen, and sometimes they probably push it too much. When he's going right, he's one of our better baserunners."
In the sixth inning, the Giants put on a safety squeeze, but Brandon Crawford wasn't able to bunt it past the pitcher, and Blanco didn't make sure that happened before heading home. Crawford reached on a fielder's choice, and Blanco was out at the plate.
"On both ends, we didn't execute," Bochy said.
Two innings later, Blanco hesitated before running to first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt that he popped up. The ball ended up dropping, but since he hadn't run immediately after contact, he was thrown out.
"I'm really aggressive. What happened yesterday is in the past," Blanco said Saturday morning. "I was just really worried about bunting the ball, because it's not easy to bunt.
"All I wanted was to move the guy to second base. I wasn't even really thinking about running. I made a mistake there, but at the same time, I did what they asked me to do."
Asked if he'd be making any adjustments to his baserunning approach, Blanco said no.
Bochy: Giants must play well at home down stretch
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy's guess is as good as anybody's.
He can't explain why the Giants entered Saturday 30-32 at AT&T Park. He's also confused by Madison Bumgarner's home/road splits (5.17 ERA/1.72), and Buster Posey hitting .239 at home compared to .328 on the road doesn't make much sense to Bochy, either.
"I think it's just one of those years," Bochy said. "We've had some play at home here that's been hard to explain, whether it's individual players or us as a team."
One thing that doesn't need explaining is that the clock's ticking, and time's running out for a turnaround.
With their disheartening 5-3 loss in 10 innings on Friday night, the Giants have lost 15 of their last 22 home games. With 41 games left, they finished Friday 5 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading Dodgers, a half-game behind the Pirates for the second NL Wild Card spot and 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the first NL Wild Card spot.
"We're still in striking distance," Bochy said. "That's how good we were in the first half, and thank goodness that we did play such great ball for most of the first half."
The Dodgers haven't exactly run away with the division, and have recently been hampered by injuries. That'll all be irrelevant unless the Giants start resembling the team they were in the season's first two months more than the team they've been for the last two months.
"It doesn't matter what happens if we don't pick up our play at home, it's not going to matter what happens with the other clubs," Bochy said. "We've just got to control what we can, and that's how we play.
"This is the sprint."
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.