MIAMI – Managers and players rarely betray the sanctity of a team meeting by playing the precise words that were spoken. But deducing them is not hard. Just listen to the message in the postgame comments.
On one level, the 20-minute meeting that manager Bruce Bochy called before Wednesday night's game did not succeed because the Giants lost to the Marlins 4-2 and extended their losing streak to seven games, their worst since last year's 11-gamer.
One message seemed to take, however.
Bochy had been upset with a lack of concentration and smart baseball, and what he had seen as tight play during the previous four games that the Giants lost by scores of 18-2, 10-4, 6-2 and 11-3
That changed before another minuscule crowd at Marlins Park (6,487). The Giants played a good ball game. They just did not hit, and they will not solve with 1
"When you come out on the loose side, it's tough to swallow," losing pitcher Madison Bumgarner said. "But we are going how we are, we'll start rising."
Bochy, who conveyed a desire for more aggressive baseball during his meeting, said of Wednesday's effort, "You like the way the guys were getting after it . I was good with the game. We were just offense, but we played a good game. It was more of our type of game. ”
" Our type of game "is a euphemism for" Can't slug it, so we have to pitch like mad and hope for a timely hit or two. "
The Giants went down on six hits. Brandon Belt had the RBIs, on a homer in the fourth inning against Marlins, starting with Pablo Lopez and an infield out in the ninth as the Giants rallied against Sergio Romo, who nonetheless struck out Steven Duggar to complete his first career save against his first love.
The game hinged on what prima facie seemed like an odd decision. Bochy pulled Bumgarner after 81 pitches following Jorge Alfaro's leadoff single in the seventh inning.
Mark Melancon got the first out on batter interference, but left-handed pinch-hitters Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker went single-double to get the go- ahead run home. Garrett Cooper added to sacrifice fly to make it 3-1
Bochy said Bumgarner seemed "gassed" from the third in and they spoke before the Big Fell took the mound for the seventh, agreeing he would come out if a runner
"It happens occasionally, not often, but sometimes you have to take care of your starter and I did," Bochy said. “I know him. I could tell he was feeling it, and sure enough he was. ”
Bumgarner could not explain it. He denied it had anything to do with the hot, humid weather, saying, "It was really that hot." "It was just one of those days," he said. “Our bullpen is a good one. I think we both like (taking me out) would be the best thing. I backed him up on that. Certain times through the year you really feel good. Sometimes you don't. I could feel it warming up. ”
The Marlins added a fourth run in the eighth against Sam Dyson when Duggar attempted to do-or-dive on a Starlin Castro drive. It got by Duggar for a triple – Miami's first of the year – and Harold Ramirez singled him home.
Duggar might have taken Bochy's message about "getting after it" a bit too literally. It seems like it might not be great to be safe and get behind the ball
Duggar landed hard on his surgically repaired left shoulder and said when he landed. Now I feel fine. I feel normal. ”
The new normal for the Giants is a lot of losing. They reached the one-third point of the season at 21-33, 1 ½ games ahead of the Marlins for the worst record in the National League. Tyler Beede gets the ball Thursday, hoping to help the Giants avoid an embarrassing sweep.
Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @hankschulman