Angels 5, Giants 3: Do the Giants still have Pagan belief?

BOX SCORE

Manager Bruce Bochy talked about the Giants’ plan this season to get some speed at the top of the order to set the table and create some runs.

But that speed doesn’t help you if you’re rolling weak infield grounders.

That’s what we’ve seen from Angel Pagan this spring. It’s getting late, and it’s starting to be a concern.

Pagan broke an 0-for-26 skid with an eighth-inning double. His spring average currently sits at .179.

And it’s not just the outs that he’s making. It’s the type of outs.

On Tuesday, he didn’t hit the ball out of the infield in his first three at-bats — popping out to the pitcher, grounding to short and second base.

Then he finally breaks the slump by making an inside-out swing and shooting an inside pitch the opposite way for double inside the bag at third … and then gets picked off a second base.

And finally he struck out looking to end the game with the tying run on base.

Bochy appeared to be talking out of both sides of his mouth — or other parts of his body — when it comes to the Giants outfield and leadoff situations.

In one breath, Bochy said that the decision to keep Gregor Blanco on the 25-man roster has not been made, even most observers could not see that NOT happening.

Then with another breath, he’s included Blanco as a leadoff option.

Most telling is when Bochy was given the opportunity to dispell any ideas that Pagan won’t be in center field and leading off on April 6, the manager passed.

“I’m not going to announce the lineup now,” Bochy said. “We’ve got some time here. There’s eight or nine days. (Pagan) could get hot and somebody else could get cold. Now is not the time to write the lineup. We have a pretty good idea.”

Pagan will spend the next couple of days working on his swing in minor-league games.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • It was a good news/bad news outing for Tim Lincecum. Lincecum struggled with his fastball command. The best example of this came when Lincecum faced Angels pitcher Brad Mills, who went to the plate with instructions not to swing. Even so, Lincecum had to go to full counts on both at-bats before striking Mills out — his only two strikeouts Tuesday. That’s the bad news. The good news is that even with a lack of command, Lincecum still got through five innings giving up two runs on five hits and two walks.
  • C Buster Posey went 0 for 2 with a walk. But more importantly, he caught seven innings on his first back-to-back start at catcher. For more on Buster’s day, which was also his 25th birthday, click here.
  • 1B Brandon Belt went 1 for 4 with some loud outs. He’s hitting .370 this spring, yet it appears possible, even likely, that he will begin the season in Fresno. That may sound incredible to you (it does to us), but to find out more, click here.

UP NEXT

It’s Madison Bumgarner’s turn to throw Wednesday, but he’ll do that in minor league camp. Not wanting to show MadBum to the division rival Dodgers, the Giants will throw Yusmeiro Petit in the 1:05 p.m. game Wednesday.

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