Giants not worried about offensive struggles after series wins against Padres – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

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SAN FRANCISCO — The box score says Tyler Fitzgerald drove in the tying run Sunday and Jorge Soler was the game-winner. It said that Matt Chapman got a chance to advance and Ha-Seong Kim made an error which cost his team two more runs and the lead.

If you only looked at the box score, you wouldn’t know that Wilmer Flores might have had the biggest moment of the game. Even if you were one of the 40,000 at the third consecutive Oracle Park sellout, you might have missed its significance.

But Bob Melvin didn’t do that. During a press conference after the 3–2 win, Melvin’s longest and most emotional response was saved for Flores.

“You talk about your team…he was instrumental in getting Soler here, knowing that a lot of his at-bats were going to go away. Chapman comes in and now a lot of his at-bats are going to go away as well. Gone, Melvin said. “So now it seems like just a platoon at first glance, but he means a lot more than that to us. Anytime you get a chance to bring him into a big spot in the game, you’ll do it.”

Flores walked up to the plate with one out in the eighth and the Giants trailing by one run. The Padres immediately responded by removing left-hander Yuki Matsui and calling up right-hander Johnny Brito. Flores, who pinch-hit for LaMonte Wade Jr., wasn’t nervous. Neither was Melvin, who knew a counter was likely to come.

“It’s really hard not to have him in the game, but the one thing you know is you’ll have a spot in the game where he can come in and impact it,” Melvin said. “And left-right doesn’t matter to him. So when they step in, it doesn’t really matter, because it’s Wilmer Flores.”

Flores delivered a fastball to left and just like that his day was over. Fitzgerald pinch-ran and made a strong impact on Soler’s bloop and advanced to third, beating out a strong throw from Fernando Tatis Jr. The Giants tied the game when Kim hit what would have been an inning-ending double play as Soler homered on his walk between first and second. He won it on Chapman’s tough single to right.

It all started with Flores and there was some irony in it.

The veteran was the best hitter on last year’s team and is one of the few veterans who isn’t struggling right now. But he also doesn’t have a starting job against right-handed pitching. Melvin may not have a spot for Flores, but he’s never forgotten his importance in the bigs.

For most of the rest of Melvin’s hitters, the weekend was a struggle. The Giants scored six runs in three games, and all three Sunday came after Padres errors.

Through 10 games, they are 21st in the majors in OPS and are hitting .223 as a team. He also ranks 21st in OPS. They are middle in homers, and are the only MLB team without a stolen base this season.

Melvin is not showing any concern yet and he said on Sunday that the confidence comes from the track record of these experienced batsmen. If he wanted, he could also point out some misfortune. There were breaks on Sunday, but overall the Giants didn’t have much to show for a good approach.

They entered their 10th game leading the league in hard-hit percentage and are up more than six points from a year ago, when they were 18th. His average exit velocity is more than two miles per hour, and he ranks second in that metric. He ranks third in hard-hit outs.

Chapman is right in the middle of it all, and even after winning the game on Sunday, his batting average is below .200. But earlier in Sunday’s game, he had a 384-foot flyout that hit the glove in center field. His teammates urged him to keep going and that was Chapman’s message after the win.

Veterans believe the process remains a good one, even if the results are not there.

Chapman said, “I think everybody in this lineup has experience. It’s a very experienced lineup.” “Guys are taking good at-bats. I don’t think we’re giving up at-bats. We’re hitting balls hard and maybe some of those balls don’t fall. But I think if We’re going to stay the course and stay positive and have the right mindset – throughout the season we know how long it is, and we know if we continue to do that, good things will happen.”

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