DENVER -- Manager Bruce Bochy called a team meeting before the Giants' game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday and afterward was tight-lipped when asked what his message was.
But you didn't need a camera in the clubhouse to get an idea of what problems Bochy wanted to address. The vaunted starting staff is in a slump that nobody knows how to fully explain, and you have to go back nearly two decades to find a Giants team that had a sloppy defensive stretch to match this one.
Both themes continued Saturday night, leading to an ugly 10-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
"This is as tough a trip as we've gone through," Bochy said. "We're not playing well right now."
Tim Lincecum became the latest starter to put up an unsightly line, giving up six earned runs in five innings. Through the first five games of this trip, four of them losses, the Giants have given up 47 runs.
The starting staff has lasted just 232/3 innings during the five games, giving up 27 earned runs.
In the clubhouse, several Giants pointed out that this group has been through rough times in the past and come through the other side. But this is more than just a five-start rough patch. The starters have a 4.81 era, and away from pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, only Madison Bumgarner has an ERA under 5.00.
Catcher Buster Posey said the best explanation is that the starters simply aren't executing their pitches.
"We have a group of guys that have been through bumps in the road," Posey said. "There have been a few stretches this year when they've put together good starts. They all do have such a good track record. It's not like we can ignore that."
Lincecum's long-term track record is better than most, but on Saturday he had the kind of start that has typified his past two seasons. Lincecum couldn't stop the bleeding when he needed to, giving up three runs in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth.
"It was just frustrating," he said. "I wasn't consistently hitting spots."
Lincecum was most frustrated by a throwing error he made in the third inning. Charlie Blackmon walked to lead off the inning and scored on Dexter Fowler's double. Fowler scored when Josh Rutledge hit a slow roller that looked like it would be an infield single, but Lincecum threw the ball into right field as he attempted to get the out at first. Rutledge went all the way to third and scored on a groundout.
Lincecum said he should have held onto the ball and moved on to the next hitter.
"I just unraveled," he said. "I put us in a big hole."
The error was one of three on the night and 12 on the trip. That's the most for the Giants in a five-game span since April 1996. That Giants team lost 94 games. Several members of this championship squad said they felt players are trying to do too much in an effort to snap the team out of the malaise.
"It's a funk," right fielder Hunter Pence said. "(Trying to force the issue) is obviously something you don't want to do. It's a trust thing ... we need to trust ourselves and trust our bodies."
Bochy said the Giants needed additional coverage in the bullpen.
Giants (Barry Zito 3-2) at Colorado (Juan Nicasio 3-1), 1:10 p.m. CSNBA