SAN FRANCISCO -- It took just seven words for manager Bruce Bochy to sum up the Giants season.
"No," Bochy said after a 6-4 win over the New York Mets, "there's nothing I can complain about."
In a sport where you play just about every day for six straight months -- seven if you're lucky -- something will pop up soon enough. That's the nature of the game. But Sunday at AT&T Park, after a three-game sweep of the Mets, the clubhouse once again was content. For a team that's 42-21 and has a 9½-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers, there are few leaks. Those that spring up are quickly plugged.
Worried about Tim Lincecum's 4.97 ERA? Bochy isn't. He concerns himself more with the team's record when Lincecum pitches, and after the right-hander gave up three runs over six innings Sunday, the Giants are 9-4 in his starts.
Concerned about a bench that got off to a slow start? The players aren't. Gregor Blanco had two hits and drove in three runs while giving Angel Pagan a breather and afterward pointed out that the other reserves have contributed in recent weeks, too, motivating Blanco to find his old form.
"I can't really think of a time where we were as good as we are now," said Lincecum, a two-time World Series champion. "We're going to ride it out, ride the wave."
Lincecum nearly went under early Sunday, when he gave up a two-run first-inning homer to Curtis Granderson on a 3-0 pitch. He said he didn't expect Granderson to swing, and maybe he shouldn't have. Lincecum had never before given up a homer on a 3-0 pitch. He bounced back, allowing just one run the rest of the way, again on a Granderson homer.
"After my last outing, I needed to show a little bit more out there," said Lincecum, who gave up eight earned in Cincinnati earlier in the week.
Bochy liked what he saw.
"He did a nice job," Bochy said. "Granderson ambushed him on that 3-0 pitch, but he regrouped and gave us six solid innings. That's a good job by Timmy."
All season long, the Giants have shown a penchant for picking up each other. Blanco picked up two teammates in the second inning: Lincecum and center fielder Pagan, who had a sore leg and got a day off. With two on and the Giants down a run, Blanco lined a double into the right field corner to give Lincecum a 3-2 lead. Blanco drove in an insurance run with a seventh-inning single and had three RBIs for the first time since May 4, 2013.
After a slow start, Blanco has 14 hits in his last 31 at-bats. Fellow bench bat Joaquin Arias helped lead the way in a win over the St. Louis Cardinals last week, and Juan Perez had a go-ahead homer in Cincinnati. Blanco credited catcher Hector Sanchez for getting the rest of the bench in gear. The young catcher has slumped of late but had several big hits early in the season and has drawn praise from the pitching staff.
Sanchez has been paired with Lincecum in recent weeks, keeping Buster Posey from absorbing the grind that comes with catching Lincecum, who relies on burying pitches in the dirt and often can lose his command.
"Everything started with Hector Sanchez," Blanco said. "He started having good at-bats from the bench. I said, 'If he's doing it, I need to pick it up.' "
Sanchez was buried in ice after a long day behind the plate, but he couldn't hide his smile as he slumped on a couch. The Giants are 6-3 when Posey gets a full day off, allowing Bochy to rest easier when he opts to rest his star catcher.
"That's critical for your season to have a bench where you can give guys a day off," Bochy said. "It's all about having that flexibility and that depth, which we have more of this year. That's the biggest difference -- we have more depth this year. The club is getting contributions from everybody. Last year, the hope was through the heart of the order, and then you would have to wait for them to come around again."
Depth comes in many forms. Journeyman right-handers Juan Gutierrez and Jean Machi haven't given up a run since fellow reliever Santiago Casilla went down with a hamstring injury May 21. The lineup is deeper one through eight, as evidenced by Brandon Crawford's 32 RBIs, the second-highest mark on the team. Crawford has primarily hit in the seventh and eighth spots of the order. Hitting seventh Sunday, he had an eighth-inning double and scored an insurance run on a single by Brandon Hicks, who has filled in ably for the injured Marco Scutaro.
"We come to the field every day thinking we're going to win," Crawford said. "It's still early, but if we continue to keep up the way we're playing, we have a good chance for the postseason."
For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants.
Washington (Stephen Strasburg 5-4) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong 4-2), 7:15 p.m. CSNBA