The five members of a pitching rotation are brothers. They mostly cling together, one unit, celebrating each other's triumphs, commiserating after failures, and comparing notes and cribbing together for their nightly tests on the mound.

With the Giants' starters struggling in ways unseen over the past five seasons, pitching coach Dave Righetti wants to see a little less togetherness - not physically, but in their minds when it's time to throw the ball.

Before spot starter Chad Gaudin gave Righetti and manager Bruce Bochy exactly what they sought in Sunday's 4-2 win in St. Louis, Righetti said in an interview that his starters are carrying the weight of one another's struggles to the mound, and he needs them to stop.

"I love it when they follow the leader, but you don't want them to follow the leader when things are going bad," Righetti said. "You need selfishness. You need guys to say, 'I'm not going to be with you today.' Starters have to be different. They have to believe that 'my day is going to be different, and I'm not going to follow the trend.'

"That's when you want them to separate themselves, five distinct guys, different styles for the most part. You know they think alike a lot. They're around each other for years - osmosis."

Some of Righetti's pitchers might read this and roll their eyes, but they should take heed. Nobody understands the psychology of pitching better than Righetti, who has pitched and coached in the majors for 34 years.

Beyond that, Righetti knows these starters. He shepherded them all from the beginning, even Ryan Vogelsong, who was a young Giant when Righetti began this job in 2000.

The Giants' rotation ranks 13th in the National League with a 4.89 ERA. Until Gaudin stepped in with six innings of two-run ball Sunday, the starters had combined for only three "quality starts" in the previous 18 games, and none on the road since Madison Bumgarner's on April 30.