The San Francisco Giants have won 5 in a row, 9 of 10 and currently sit atop the NL West at 20-11. How could there possibly be cause for concern? Even with the current run they’re on, the Giants only hold a 2 game lead over the Colorado Rockies, and a 2.5 game lead over the Kershaw-less Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants have been playing good baseball all season. The offense has been a welcome surprise, but their starting pitching has been underperforming. This obviously doesn’t include Tim Hudson, who has been a stellar acquisition. The main culprits have been Matt Cain (0-3, 4.35), Ryan Vogelsong (1-1, 4.60) and Tim Lincecum (2-1, 5.12). Vogelsong and Timmy have been averaging just about 5 IP per start, which could wind up hurting the bullpen’s effectiveness later in the season. If Vogey or Timmy continue to struggle, look for Yusmeiro Petit to lock down a rotation spot when Cain returns from the DL.
Michael Morse (8 HR) has provided the power that the San Francisco Giants have been lacking in recent years. He has also been accompanied by Brandon Belt (8), Buster Posey (7) and surprisingly enough Brandon Hicks (5). It remains to be seen if Hicks, and Morse for that matter, can keep up this torrid pace. Hicks is a career .169 hitter who now has 8 HR and 17 RBI to his name. It will be a great story if Hicks has found something that works for him and keeps him in the big leagues, but the Giants shouldn’t depend on him long-term by any means. This could just be a case of striking while the iron is hot.
It’s nice to have the Arizona Diamondbacks (11-23) in the division. It’s an easy way to grab some victories and pad the record. The Giants have already played them 7 of their 19 times, and tallied just a 4-3 record. They have to notch victories in games like these, where they are obviously the better team. If they don’t, it could come back to bite them (snake jokes).
This year, the Giants have health on their side and should avoid any of the prolonged slumps that doomed them in 2013. The Dodgers hit their stride in June last season, but a healthy Giant squad should be able to keep pace with a surging Los Angeles team.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the city by the Bay though! The San Francisco Giants are looking like a playoff team. Whether they win the division, or one of the Wild Card spots remains to be seen. It really shouldn’t matter though, because if they are in a win-or-go-home scenario with Huddy or Bumgarner on the mound, you have to like their chances. Because we all know what happens when the Giants make the playoffs. Here’s a hint: It involves diamonds.