The San Francisco Giants’ 2014 season has been an interesting one. They started off the season hot, clicking on all cylinders. Their offense, which has been one of their weaknesses in recent history, was flowing, they were getting clutch hits, they were playing solid defense and executing the fundamentals, and their bullpen was dominant. This led to the best record in baseball for a while.
Then, injuries started to hit. The Giants were able to get through Brandon Belt’s injury at first, but then their offense stalled. Angel Pagan went down. Marco Scutaro was still absent. Matt Cain had a couple trips to the DL. The offense was missing, and wins were hard to find.
What else would you expect from the Giants though? As Giants fans know, sometimes this Giants team can be torturous to watch. When healthy, they have talent up and down the starting lineup, they have a solid starting pitching rotation and bullpen, and they have some of the best team chemistry in all of MLB.
When not healthy and not executing the fundamentals, the Giants can sometimes be hard to watch. The Giants have certainly had an up-and-down type of season, but recently, they have started to get back to the winning ways that led them to have the best record in baseball at the beginning of the season.
In the five games they’ve played since the All-Star break, the Giants have gone 4-1, they’ve scored 32 runs (second in all of MLB), they’ve hit five home runs, they have a team batting average of .300 (fourth in MLB), they have a .353 OBP, they have a .460 slugging percentage, and they have a .813 OPS.
On the pitching side, the Giants, as a team, have a 2.94 ERA (sixth in all of MLB) and three saves (tied for first in MLB) in the five games they’ve played since the All-Star break.
In addition to these stats as a team, some key players have really stepped up in the second half so far. Most importantly, Buster Posey has looked refreshed and determined since the start of the second half.
In 23 at-bats so far in the second half, Posey has a .435 average with one home run, seven RBI’s, three doubles, a .480 OBP, a .696 slugging percentage, and a 1.176 OPS. Posey got some much-needed rest over the All-Star break, and it has paid off. Posey caught fire in the second half of the 2012 season, and if he can keep up this type of production, he could possibly lead the Giants into another deep postseason run.
Michael Morse is another Giants player who is having a solid second half so far. In 20 at-bats so far, Morse has a .350 average with three doubles, one RBI, a .381 OBP, a .500 slugging percentage, and a .881 OPS.
With Belt on the DL with a concussion, the Giants needed Posey, Pence, Sandoval, and Morse to step up and they truly have so far in the second half.
Last night’s 9-6 win against the Philadelphia Phillies was the ultimate example of how the Giants are getting back to their winning ways. Posey and Brandon Crawford supplied the Giants with clutch hits to get the Giants back in the game and to give them a lead late in the game.
The whole bullpen was used last night in the 14-inning game, and they were dominant. Jeremy Affeldt was excellent, Santiago Casilla was too, and George Kontos pitched two-plus scoreless innings last night, after pitching two innings on Monday too. Kontos is showing Bruce Bochy why he deserves to stay on this Giants team.
After the game, Kontos described the win perfectly.
What a game!! This is starting to feel a lot like 2012!! This team never quits!! #CantHoldUsBack
— George Kontos (@G_Kontos) July 23, 2014
The Giants could still improve in a few areas before they’re declared the obvious favorite in the NL West. They could still add some depth (especially at second base and possibly in the bullpen) and possibly add another starting pitcher before the trade deadline, but so far, the Giants are overcoming adversity and showing that it wasn’t a fluke that they had the best record in baseball at the beginning of the season.
The Giants easily could’ve given up when Pagan went down, when Belt went down both times, when Cain went down, or when the losing became almost habitual. However, they’re still fighting. Their confidence is coming back, and they’re getting back to their winning ways.