SAN FRANCISCO -- The offensive highlights of the first half have been surprises. Pablo Sandoval is hitting like an All-Star, Mike Yastrzemski and Tyler Austin look like potential future contributors, and Kevin Pillar has come over from Toronto and deposited a pair of scorching hot streaks. And, of course, the last week has belonged to Alex Dickerson and his nickname.
The Giants have found some production from their bench and the fringes of their roster, but oh how much easier this all could have been if the stars hit like they did Friday. Buster Posey had his first three-hit game of the year and Brandon Crawford had three more while hitting a milestone and helping to lead the Giants to a 6-3 win over the Diamondbacks.
Posey entered the night hitting .230 and said he hasn't felt great at the plate most of the year. Crawford has spent much of the first half just above .200, though a recent string of strong at-bats pushed him to .218 at the start of the night. They broke through together Friday, teaming with the newcomers for a win that showed what this season could have been.
"These good hitters, they'll find it, and if we do that they're going to look really good in the second half," manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we need these core guys to come through for us. You saw what happened tonight when they do."
The Giants are 35-46 at the halfway point, on pace for 90-plus losses for the second time in three years. But Bochy remains hopeful. He said this lineup's best days are ahead, and that'll certainly be true if two franchise pillars keep swinging as they did Friday.
Posey went the opposite way three times, including a double that kept spinning through the night air and landed on top of the Splash Hits sign, an inch from being ruled a home run. That blast snapped an 0-for-16 skid, and Posey later singled twice.
"It wasn't necessarily a conscious effort to hit the ball the other way," Posey said. "I did some work with (assistant hitting coach) Rich Schu before the game in the cage and felt like I was getting my lower half in a better position."
Crawford had seven doubles over his previous 11 games and has consistently stung the ball on this homestand. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and doubled again in the sixth. The third hit gave Crawford, a homegrown Giant in every respect, 1,000 hits with the organization. He's tied with Tito Fuentes for 38th on the franchise's all-time hits list. Crawford needs 226 hits to reach Rich Aurilia, who has the most by a San Francisco Giants shortstop.