SAN FRANCISCO -- Closing his batting stance may have opened new vistas for Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz began hitting with his front (right) foot pointed a few inches closer to home plate shortly before the Giants began their two-city trip to Chicago and Detroit last week. The results have been dramatic for Schierholtz, who entered Thursday batting .395 (15-for-38) in his previous 10 games. Schierholtz had been hitting proficiently in batting practice yet failing to take that swing into games. So he tinkered a little until he found satisfaction with the closed stance.
"I tried to get something that felt more comfortable and wasn't as forced," said Schierholtz, whose 14th-inning homer won Wednesday's game against San Diego. "I felt like I was forcing my swing all this time. I feel a lot more natural now. I know it's only been a couple of weeks, but I'm seeing the ball better." Schierholtz didn't try to explain why a closed stance might work to his advantage. "As long as I keep having good at-bats, that's really the key for me," he said. "Just not thinking -- see the ball, hit the ball -- and laying off pitches I shouldn't be swinging at."