LaMonte Wade Jr

Wade Jr.'s healthy, ‘violent' swing saving Giants' offense

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A healthy LaMonte Wade Jr. played a huge role in the Giants' series victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks this week.

After his go-ahead home run lifted San Francisco to a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Tuesday night, Wade came through again Thursday, blasting another game-winning homer in the Giants' 1-0 victory over the D-backs.

Wade's red-hot start to the 2023 season was slowed due to nagging side and back injuries. Now that he's fully healthy -- or close to it -- Wade is starting to look like the player the Giants will need down the stretch.

"His swing is looking violent again," Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters postgame. "It's a measure of how he's feeling. Oftentimes he goes up to the plate and is able to conduct a really good at-bat, make good swing decisions, but the swing doesn't look quite as violent when he's not feeling his best and healthiest and right now he's looking healthy and swinging the bat like the best version of LaMonte."

"I'm feeling a lot better at the plate," Wade added. "I think getting a little healthier I'm taking swings I want to take now, so yeah it's starting to come back together."

Wade wisely has taken full advantage of one particular resource in the Giants' clubhouse. The first baseman frequently has sought out the wisdom of Barry Bonds, who works as a special advisor for the team and has taught Wade a lot about his mental approach to the game.

"Just the way you approach the game, approach the at-bats," Wade said of his conversations with Bonds. "Talking a lot about the mental approach, not too much mechanics, it's just the way you see the game, talk about counts, putting yourself in situations like that. I've been learning a lot from Barry and his conversations and taking a lot from them."

"He's here a lot, he's always available. Anytime you can pick his brain, he's one of the greatest players to ever play this game, so anytime you can talk to him and pick his brain I think good things are going to come from it."

Prior to Thursday's game, Wade was named the Giants' recipient of the 18th annual Heart and Hustle Award, which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.

"It means a lot, I'm definitely grateful and humble about that honor," Wade shared. "To be able to receive that award I think says a lot about this team and the teammates I got."

"I think that is an honor that is earned," Kapled told reporters pregame. "It's about physical, mental and emotional toughness and about a team-first mentality. Every day LaMonte comes to the ballpark and even if he's not feeling his best, he's doing everything he possibly can to be on the field for us and help us win games."

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