Giants hope to continue turnaround against Padres (Jul 16, 2017)
SAN DIEGO -- The San Francisco Giants go for a series win on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. The game wraps up an abbreviated three-game trip as the Giants then return to San Francisco for a 10-game homestand.
Might the Giants be returning to respectability, too?
Hard to say but the National League West cellar-dweller did get a lift, even in a loss, with left-hander Madison Bumgarner coming back on Saturday after a nearly three-month absence with a shoulder injury.
But manager Bruce Bochy said the goal in Sunday's game really isn't much different than if the Giants were in first or last place.
"Our responsibility is to go out there and perform to the best of our ability, whether we are winning or losing," said Bochy, who directed the Giants to three World Series titles since 2010. "In that regard, it doesn't change.
"Where it may change is that when the club gets to the trading deadline or we play younger players."
The Giants have started a push toward a youth movement and that's evident in scanning their lineup. But Bochy is far from reaching for a white flag.
"We are a team that will do all it can to win," he stressed. "We've had a lot of success in this decade and we want to continue that and that is our plan right now: to keep pushing forward and to keep winning ballgames."
They do so Sunday with a starter who has spent little time in the winner's circle.
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (4-10, 4.58) is tied for the most losses in the National League.
"You look at the record and you wonder what is going on?" Bochy said. "What's going on is our offense hasn't found a way to score enough runs for him, for the most part."
But Samardzija has done his part, too, which has him being the first Giant to reach the All-Star break with 10 losses since Tim Lincecum did it in 2012.
Bochy knows the right-handed Samardzija's numbers, he just doesn't believe in them.
"He's been pretty good," he said. "His record isn't indicative of how he is throwing. He has given us a lot of quality starts, quality innings, but we have a hard time scoring runs for him."
Samardzija is 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA lifetime against the Padres.
San Diego counters with Trevor Cahill, a right-hander making his third start since missing about six weeks with a sore shoulder. He has lost both his starts since returning, after winning three straight decisions before getting hurt.
Cahill's last outing was a tad rocky as he was rocked for three home runs in a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I feel like I made some good pitches," Cahill told MLB.com. "And (when) I didn't, they hurt me."
"He made some mistakes," Green said.
Cahill, who figures to be mentioned in numerous conversations leading up to the trading deadline, is 6-5 lifetime against the Giants with a 3.81 ERA.