Maybe a team meeting can help turn around the season for the San Francisco Giants. Winning a series over an NL team would be a step in the right direction, too.
The Giants haven’t done that in more than a month, but will have the chance to do so Wednesday as they conclude a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at AT&T Park.
Disappointed with its play lately, San Francisco’s players called a team meeting before Tuesday’s game to discuss its recent struggles. The Giants (47-47) went out that night and beat the Brewers 4-3 to snap a three-game losing streak.
“It’s not a secret what we look like out there,” shortstop Omar Vizquel said. “We’ve got to pick up the pace a little bit.”
With these teams having split the first two games, the Giants need a win Wednesday to come away with a series victory over an NL team for the first time since taking two of three at Arizona from June 13-15.
San Francisco hasn’t won any series since sweeping a three-game set against Texas from June 27-29.
Giants manager Felipe Alou wants his team to focus on the fundamentals and the mental aspects of the game in the second half of the season, with a division title very much within reach.
“What really kills teams is when you can’t do the small things,” Alou said. “The big three-run homer, a shutout and 16 strikeouts, those are hard things to accomplish. But to get a guy over should be a piece of cake. It is the small things that makes players and teams look bad.”
“Tonight is a good start for us,” Mark Sweeney said. “Hopefully we can get this to snowball in the right direction.”
San Francisco is tied for second place with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind first-place San Diego.
Matt Morris (8-7, 4.23 ERA) looks to win his sixth straight decision when he takes the mound Wednesday.
Morris, who went 1-7 with a 5.68 ERA in 11 starts from April 18-June 9, has a 2.55 ERA during his current winning streak. The right-hander won a career-high eight straight decisions from April 19-June 18 last season as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Morris allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-3 win over Philadelphia on Friday, throwing 21 of 25 first-pitch strikes.
Morris is 11-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 19 career games against the Brewers (46-49), though he’s never faced them as a member of the Giants.
Bonds, who could be indicted by a grand jury on perjury and tax evasion charges this week, is 1-for-4 with a solo home run against Milwaukee’s starter on Wednesday, Doug Davis (5-6, 4.77).
Davis is 2-2 with a 3.62 ERA in five career games against the Giants, and beat them on May 4 as he threw six shutout innings in a 7-4 victory.
The left-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight outings. Davis gave up two runs and five hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss to Arizona on Friday, but did not get a decision.
“My first couple innings I was struggling with my control,” said Davis, who has walked nine in his last two games. “But after the second inning I was able to get some key ground balls, and I was able to execute pitches after that.”
Davis is 3-3 with a 6.32 ERA in nine road games this season, and is 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in two career games at AT&T Park.
Tuesday’s defeat dropped the Brewers to 2-6 since July 7. They have scored 20 runs in the two wins, but just 14 in the losses.
Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday, and is 11-for-21 (.524) in five games since the All-Star break.
Milwaukee will be without J.J. Hardy for the rest of the season after he decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a loose tendon in his right ankle. Hardy, the Brewers’ opening day shortstop, was batting .242 through 35 games before injuring himself on May 16 on a slide into home plate.