SAN FRANCISCO -- With even Buster Posey hitting the skids, the Giants' troubles now border on the surreal. The reigning MVP is stuck in the longest hitless drought of his career (0 for 19) and is struggling to drive in runs, just like the rest of his teammates.
Twice over the weekend, Posey came up with the bases loaded and nobody out. The net result was three outs (a ground out and a double play) and zero runs.
Is he pressing?
"Probably," Posey said after the Giants' 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. "Sometimes I've been going out of the strike zone a little bit the past couple games. It's a matter of taking a deep breath and getting a good pitch to hit."
The Giants get a chance to hit the reset button Monday. Before opening a six-game trip on Tuesday, they will swing by the White House, where President Barack Obama will salute the 2012 champions.
Perhaps the reminder of last year's clutch hitting and stellar defense will light a spark, because the current Giants have lost their magic. They have lost four consecutive games, seven of their past eight and 22 of their past 30.
They will visit the White House a season-worst 12 games under .500 and 10 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
The frustration level is tougher to quantify.
"In all my years, I haven't seen a team quite go through such a hard a time getting runs as we are right now," said Bochy, who broke into the big leagues in 1978. "It's a shame, because we've had great pitching."
Bochy is unfazed by Posey's mini-slump, saying that it's more a matter of bad luck than bad swings. Overall, Posey is still hitting .308 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs.
"He's had some hard outs. He's hitting it right on the nose, right at people," Bochy said. "It can't be Buster. We need to get contributions throughout the order. The other guys in the lineup have to come through."
Tim Lincecum did his part Sunday, limiting the Cubs to two runs over seven innings. Chicago's only scoring came on solo homers by opposing pitcher Travis Wood (fifth inning) and Welington Castillo (seventh).
Lincecum called both pitches "location mistakes" on fastballs. Overall, though, it was a solid rebound performance for the right-hander. Lincecum had been bombarded for eight runs in his only other start since his July 13 no-hitter.
"He threw the ball really well," Posey said. "When you throw the ball like that, you deserve to win. Unfortunately, we couldn't pick him up."
The Giants had their chances. In the fifth, they loaded the bases with nobody out and the heart of the order coming up. But Posey hit a hot shot to third base, where Luis Valbuena stepped on the bag for a force out before throwing home to nail Lincecum.
With runners now at first and second, Pablo Sandoval drove home the Giants' only run with a double to left before Hunter Pence struck out.
The Giants are hitting just .196 with runners in scoring position over their past 32 games. Bochy said multiple times during the Cubs series that the Giants batters are putting too much pressure on themselves.
Posey agreed. "I'm sure," he said. "When you're struggling, sometimes the battle is trying not to do too much. You have to slow the game down a little bit."
A long ball might help, but the Giants have gone eight consecutive games without a home run. They have only three homers in their past 24 games at AT&T Park.
Giants (Barry Zito 4-7) at
Philadelphia (John Lannan 2-4),
4:05 p.m. CSNBA