SAN FRANCISCO -- Near the end of his pregame media session Wednesday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy smiled and looked up. "How many rumors are we starting here?" he said.
Bochy spent much of his time before the series finale with the Boston Red Sox talking about the future, and for good reason. The present continues to be an unappetizing subject, as the Giants showed while losing the series finale 12-1.
Barry Zito gave up six runs (all earned), and rookie Mike Kickham allowed six more (five earned). The Giants displayed the defensive sloppiness that has become their way this season and had just five hits at the plate. They were 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position during the series, dropping two of three.
"We were fortunate to come away with a win in this series," Bochy said. "There were times (today) I do think we drifted mentally, and that shouldn't happen."
It has been a month since the Giants won a series at home, and it doesn't get any easier with the National League Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates coming to town for four games. Both the Red Sox and Pirates look like postseason locks, and to get back to that status next year, the Giants will need to make plenty of adjustments.
On Wednesday, Bochy spoke at length about changes that could be coming in the years ahead. In particular, the Giants may soon reach a point where they decide to move N.L. MVP catcher Buster Posey to a less demanding position.
"I think he would be a really good third baseman," Bochy said. "We like him where he is at right now. This is something that (could happen) if he took the time to learn the position in the offseason and spring training. He's an athlete, and he has the hands and the arm."
Part of Posey's value is tied into the fact that he can play a position usually reserved for light hitters, but he may be showing signs of wearing down. He has gone 46 at-bats without an extra base hit and has driven in just three runs in the past 27 games.
"It's just baseball," Posey said. "That's the way it goes sometimes."
Posey has always maintained that he wants to remain a catcher, and Bochy said Wednesday that there is no thought of moving Posey anytime soon. A couple of other Giants position players, however, could try out different spots if the team needs roster flexibility this offseason. First baseman Brett Pill has been taking grounders at third base, where he has played in the minors at times, and will continue to take fly balls in left.
"It's obvious it's going to help his value," Bochy said. "It just gives you more flexibility to make double-switches and things like that. With his bat and his ability to (move around), it makes him a valuable player."
Brandon Belt has been the Giants' most valuable hitter in the second half and is one of the best defensive first basemen in the league, but Bochy acknowledged Belt could ultimately move to left field if the Giants feel that's the best fit for their lineup. The Giants will be in search of at least one starting outfielder this offseason, but it's possible that the best available hitter will be a first baseman. With a lineup that ranks 26th in the major leagues in runs, the Giants may not be able to be picky.
"When you have a guy like Brandon, it does give you an opportunity in case that scenario comes up," Bochy said.
Wednesday's loss again showed why the Giants could consider moving significant pieces around to bolster their lineup. The lone run against Felix Doubrant came on Joaquin Arias' solo home run in the second.
The Red Sox hung six runs on Zito and then scored five in the seventh against Kickham, who was making his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Fresno.
Bochy questioned his team's focus after several botched plays in the field. The most damaging was a pop-up to shallow right field that landed between Belt, right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Marco Scutaro. It was the kind of play the Giants have bungled all season just a year after winning a World Series title with pretty much the exact same group. How has it turned so sour?
"We've kind of asked ourselves the same thing," Belt said. "For some reason it's not working out for us. We've got to make sure we put an end to this before it starts to unravel."