BREAKING NEWS: Soler, Giants reach breaking point, but all hope isn’t lost

BOSTON — There’s only so much room that frustration can build before reaching a breaking point. Jorge Soler put that metaphor to the test on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

After hitting a Statcast-projected 110.7 mph rocket directly into the glove of Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers in the fifth inning, Soler raised his bat above his head and forcefully brought it down over his right thigh for a clean break.

The lineout represented the hardest contact in the Giants’ 6-2 loss to the Red Sox and the ensuing snap of the bat, a physical embodiment of the frustration San Francisco has felt on offense to begin the season.

“Look at today, he had some really good swings, he’s got nothing to show for it,” manger Bob Melvin said. “So there’s kind of a breaking point, right? Where you get frustrated and need to take it out. I think at times you want to get upset, because you’re not getting the results that we want. And it’s been basically going on all year.”

Tom Murphy's solo homer (1)

Despite the 0-2 start to their three-game set at Fenway, it hasn’t been all bad for the Giants’ offense — in fact they’ve been riding right around the middle of the pack for much of the season. Entering Wednesday, the team ranked 15th in MLB in average (.241), 19th in OPS (.683) and 20th in OBP (.308). The issue lies in the fact that they know they’re equipped with the tools to be better.

Take Soler for example: The Giants signed the slugger to a three-year deal in February, eager to fill the everyday designated hitter slot with a player who notched 36 homers and hit .250 with a 128 OPS+ with the Marlins in 2023. Or Matt Chapman, who was signed in March after trailing only the Yankees’ Aaron Judge among qualified hitters with a 56.2% hard-hit rate last season. Soler and Chapman are hitting .211 and .223 respectively, with just 22 RBIs between the two offseason acquisitions.

The keys to success are here, the Giants are just waiting for them to fall into place.

“From time to time, you mix up the order. But these are the guys we have and all these guys have track records,” Melvin said. “It does not look good in the first month, but stay with it, we’re gonna hit a hot streak at some point in time. We have the ability to be a lot better offensive team than we are right now.”

Soler also accounted for the game’s second hardest hit ball, a 107.6 mph lineout in the third. All but one of the Giants’ seven hard-hit balls on Wednesday were outs, except for a 106.4 mph home run off the bat of Tom Murphy to put San Francisco on the board.

Mike Yazstremski gave the Giants their second run with some small ball in the fourth — perfectly placing a soft bunt down the third-base line to allow Michael Conforto to score.

Mike Yastrzemski's RBI bunt single

“There were some good swings today, really the last couple of games … the last one at home too,” Melvin said. “It’s frustrating, yet it’s about results and we’re not getting the results yet. So we get one swing from Murph gives us a lead, we give it right. Yaz does a good job, Devers back at third, drops a bunt down.

“But we’re just not stringing enough together to put pressure on teams and then we either go down quickly, or we’re behind in counts, and we’re just not getting in good counts to hit at this point.”

The Giants were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base on Wednesday. The only base traffic on the visitors’ side came in the fourth inning, when San Francisco strung together a walk, a double and Yazstremski’s RBI single. Tuesday’s opener yielded similar results, with the Giants recording back-to-back hits just once, in the ninth inning. On Thursday, they’ll have a chance to turn the tide in the series finale before heading to Philadelphia for the second leg of a three-city road trip.

“We know it’s a long season. And we know that we have a lot of baseball ahead of us,” Chapman said. “So we just got to keep grinding and make little adjustments here and there and we’ll get it rolling.”

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