Haniger’s offensive rash foreshadows Giants potential originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Mitch Haniger, with the help of a pre-game sugar boost, has been tearing it up offensively for the Giants lately.
The veteran outfielder delivered the game-winning two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning of the Giants’ 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at American Family Field.
Haniger’s outburst was his second in as many games and capped a 3-for-4 day and two RBIs at home plate.
The veteran outfielder, who signed a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the Giants last offseason, started the season on the injured list and struggled a lot upon his return. Hitting as low as .172 on May 16, Haniger got hot, raising his average to .237 after his three-hit performance on Saturday.
“The key to hitting is making adjustments,” Haniger told Laura Britt, Carlos Ramirez and Rich Aurilia on “Giants Postgame Live.” “With more bats, I always feel more comfortable. I’ve worked on some things, always on hitting on the mechanics side and on the approach side as well. Things are going well here and I hope it keeps rolling.”
Haniger is 6-for-12 with two home runs, six RBIs and one walk in the series against Milwaukee. However, according to rookie infielder Casey Schmitt, there might be a particular reason why Haniger has been so successful at the plate lately.
“I gave him a little Sour Patch before the game, today and yesterday, and he homered in both games,” Schmitt said. “Just a singular. I don’t know what flavor it was, but it was good.
Haniger, who is on a strict diet, has a love/hate relationship with the young infielder who supplies the candy.
“I blame him for always bringing food in the dugout,” Haniger joked with reporters after the game. “But he gave me Sour Patch yesterday and today, so we’ll keep going.”
As sweet as Haniger’s recent hot stretch has been, Giants manager Gabe Kapler isn’t the least bit surprised by the 32-year-old’s push. The Giants’ roster, when fortified with the additions of Haniger and outfielder Michael Conforto in the offseason, is finally beginning to show its true potential.
“We’re not going to see the same hitters showing up every day and being the guy who hits the big time,” Kapler added. “So when it’s Conforto on a 3-4 game streak, you know he might not possibly be the guy for a few days. And when you have a guy like Haniger who comes on and starts to really drive the baseball consistently, it makes our roster really, really deep.
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The Giants are still missing a few key bats, including outfielder Austin Slater, designated hitter Joc Pederson and, most recently, star second baseman Thairo Estrada, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list before the game. SATURDAY.
It’s certainly not impossible that the Giants’ roster, believe it or not, could still be significantly better. When that day comes, the Giants should be able to compete with just about any team in the league.
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