A mere fourteen hours after their ninth inning victory over the Padres, the Giants wouldn’t so much take the field Wednesday as they would just populate it.

But who could blame them? Tomorrow’s break represents their only off-day until August 16th. They’re just finishing a stretch of nine straight games that will be promptly be followed by a stretch of another 20. In total, the Giants will play 39 games over the next 43 days.

This is the reality of the season. If football is a game of inches, then baseball is game of days–long, exacting days. The chronicles of these days are written in lines drawn on deepening brows of players and coaches alike. A never-ending story of tragedy to triumph, from a want of confidence to the surfeit of it. Maybe this is why most consider the story of baseball analogous to life.

After the game, Bochy made mention of the need for mental toughness when discussing player mentalities. “You have to have that mental toughness,” Bochy said. “That’s the difference between an average player and a good player. You’re going to have your ups-and-downs. But what’s important is how you deal with them.”

Bochy’s words hold true for teams, not just players. A team will incur a myriad of ups-and-downs throughout the season. How they respond to such fluctuations is key. I would venture to say the Giants are handling theirs pretty well.

From the look of this team, from the tenor of their interaction with the media, you wouldn’t know they were leading the National League West by two games. With the tumult surrounding Belt, the struggles of Tim Lincecum, and the injuries to Brian Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff, Hector Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval, this team certainly has had it’s share of issues. And yet, they persevere, even if they don’t win.

Such perseverance has led some to compare this team to the Giants of 2010. When asked whether he thought this team had a chance to repeat the 2010 team’s success, Lincecum respond with a “Yeah, definitely.”

“We all get along; we all hang out, “ Lincecum said. “To be able to share those laughs, and to just have that communication and have that connection between all of us makes it easier to play, especially out there. I feel like that youthfulness carries over into the excitement and energy we have.”

Speaking of Lincecum

Both Bochy and Lincecum downplayed any concern over Lincecum’s “stuff.” Bochy described Lincecum as “crisp,” noting that Venable’s game-changing double was a foot away from being an out.

Lincecum too pointed to the Venable double as a turning point, saying “That little bloop that kind bumped in there that Venable hit made the difference in the game.”

“I don’t think this is a step backwards or anything,” Lincecum continued. “I just messed up on three pitches.”

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Audio courtesy of @RyanLeong

Confidencegate Day III

I won’t say much, if anything, about Belt–anything that I didn’t already say in the pregame notes, that is. But, Bochy was asked to elaborate on the “big boy pants” comment he made this morning. Here is what he said:

H/T to Mark Probst for putting his big boy pants on and asking a question that I would not.