I know what you’re thinking, “We finally win 2 in a row, and now we have to face the best team in baseball? Crap.” Cheer up! These series are generally close, and with Brandon Belt energizing the offense, the Giants should be able to win the series. Here are some reasons for optimism Giants’ fans.
Reason #1: Bumgarner is starting on the road. Why is this significant? At home his ERA is 5.16, compared to on the road where it’s a nice and tidy 1.32. Add in the foul territory at O.Co, and he could just throw a complete game shutout.
Reason #2: We get a DH for the first 2 games, limiting the amount of defense Morse has to play, while also keeping his bat in the lineup.
Reason #3: Brandon Belt is back!
In the wins on Saturday and Sunday, Belt played a key role, collecting 2 RBIs in each game. That just happened to be the difference in each game. Look for this to continue when the A’s come to town.
Facing a team that is as stacked as the Oakland Athletics could break the funk that the Giants are in. If the orange and black are able to win 3 out of 4, that would prove that they’ve still “got it” and could restore some confidence in the clubhouse, and could also convince Brian Sabean that they are just a piece or two away from yet another Fall Classic. Get the phones ready Brian.
Why only 3 of 4? Because like most Giants’ fans, I’m wondering if Matt Cain will win another game. Ever. It just doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards.
Of course, the keys for the Giants this series are the keys to any series for the Giants: solid pitching and timely hitting. Jumping out to an early lead and facing the A’s middle relief could play huge dividends in the form of a series win. The A’s late-inning relievers have been very good on the season, but facing Ryan Cook or Jim Johnson would be ideal. Cook has been inconsistent, and Johnson just hasn’t gotten his season going yet. Get them in the game.
The Giants will also need some production from the bottom of their order. Brandon Crawford seems like an ideal candidate to set the table, or drive in guys that are roaming the base paths. If he does, it takes the pressure off of the top of the lineup to produce all of the offense.
This series definitely won’t be easy, but just one month ago the A’s and Giants were the 2 best teams in baseball. The Giants can compete with these guys. They just have to play well, and in doing so could regain their Championship form.