Amid skid, SF Giants’ Gabe Kapler calls out team’s energy level


SAN FRANCISCO — Amid one of the Giants’ worst stretches of baseball under manager Gabe Kapler, the third-year skipper came prepared for his pregame session with reporters Sunday with a message for his team.

“I don’t think that we’ve brought our best levels of energy to the ballpark over course of the last couple of weeks,” Kapler said to begin a six-minute spiel on the Giants’ recent effort.

After Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the White Sox, the Giants had dropped nine of their past 12 and failed to win any of the three series on this home stand that featured all three opponents with losing. Entering Sunday, they were a season-high 8.5 games back of the Dodgers for first place in the NL West and two games out of the third wild card spot.

Saturday’s loss was only the latest to feature multiple defensive miscues, with Kapler afterward calling the performance “not good enough.”

Less than 24 hours later, Kapler was asked about the possibility of calling up prospects from Triple-A Sacramento to inject something different into the stumbling club.

“Are you thinking about, like, energy kind of stuff?” Kapler responded. “You’re giving me a good opportunity to talk about some of the things I think we’ve all been seeing.

“I think it’s important to examine where we’re spending our energy,” he continued. “One thing that I think we can all do is take the energy that we’re spending on things that we can’t control and invest it into teammates.”

Examples of bad energy, according to the school of Kapler: chewing on an umpire’s call all inning, complaining about a daunting travel schedule or conditions on the field, reacting poorly to a teammate’s misplay, comparing this year to their 107-win campaign last season .

“Are we taking that energy and throwing our hands up and being upset at some of the things that are outside of our control,” Kapler said, “or are we investing that energy into the group in a positive way?”

Kapler didn’t question his players’ effort; the message revolved around channelling energy in a positive way.

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