San Francisco Giants’ Woes Continue Despite Matt Cain’s Return


Nearing the All-Star break, the San Francisco Giants are a depleted team. As Giants’ followers know, Tim Lincecum has been added to the DL along with Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki.

Having Lincecum out of the starting rotation for the time being helps make things easier for Matt Cain‘s recent return. The team doesn’t have to worry as much about their pitching personnel for the time being, but a number of concerns remain for the Giants.

It’s obvious that Lincecum has been struggling greatly. His role on the team is up in the air, and there are notions that the Giants may utilize him as a relief pitcher rather than a starter. When a former ace’s velocity, command, and endurance rapidly decreases over the course of three years, serious changes need to be made.

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To make matters worse, two of the team’s best fielders and hitters in Pence and Aoki don’t seem to be making a comeback anytime soon. Yes, players such as Matt Duffy have been stepping up big time, but the Giants’ mix and match batting orders and fielding lineups won’t yield much success come October. Brandon Belt has even put time in at left field despite being a first baseman.

Bruce Bochy‘s creativity in changing things up is impressive. Unfortunately, the efforts aren’t proving to be as productive as the team and fans would hope. The point is that the Giants have an incredibly talented and versatile team, but they need healthy and consistent play from everybody.

Despite health and lineup difficulties, recent history has taught Giants fans to take bad news in stride and never lose hope. This is the mindset that lead the organization to three World Series Championships in five years. Basically, there is usually a silver lining when times get tough for the Giants.

Recently, SB Nation reported that Hunter Pence was able to take some swings during practice for the first time in weeks. His health does seem to be on the rise, but it isn’t likely that we will see Pence on the field before the All-Star break. If you think about it, keeping him off the field for a little while longer isn’t as bad as it sounds.

For starters, the Giants’ offense hasn’t been that bad without Pence. Additionally, Matt Duffy, Buster Posey, and Joe Panik all have fantastic batting averages. This team is quite blessed to have reliable players that carry the load while a slugger needs time off.

Furthermore, an obvious bright side to keeping Pence off the field for now is his health later in the season. Take a moment to think about the Giants’ World Series campaign last year. Pence was a great energizer for the team, and his enthusiasm and energy charged the Giants through the competition. He’s the crazy eyed “Home Alone” burglar look-alike that we have all come to love.

The Giants certainly aren’t experiencing irreparable woes, and they are still in a good spot to assert themselves in the National League. With that, there isn’t a limit to the high hopes that Giants’ fans have for their team. A bunch of World Series wins will do that for you.

Yesterday, fans were buzzing for the highly anticipated return of their starting pitcher, Matt Cain. He’s a guy that has proven himself as a reliable workhorse, and he arrived just in time to give the Giants a much needed boost.

Unfortunately, his start against the Miami Marlins did not end up the way everybody had hoped. Things started well enough for Cain through the first four innings. He only gave up one run entering the fifth inning, but the Marlins surged with four runs to force Cain’s early exit from the game.

The Giants are struggling to gain ground and reclaim first place in their division over the Dodgers, but any fan knows that San Francisco can and will turn things around in an instant.

Don’t lose faith in Cain just because he didn’t have a great first start. According to CSN Bay Area, yesterday was the first time Cain took the mound with the Giants in 51 weeks. They also quoted Bruce Bochy’s thoughts on Cain saying:

"“He’s only going to get better building his strength and stamina up. It was effortless, felt great. Even after the fifth he said, ‘I feel fine.’ He wanted to go back out. I thought he was throwing free and easy.”"

Yes, the team hasn’t been consistent lately, but Matt Cain’s return is enough reason to believe in the Giants.

Next: Tim Lincecum to the DL: What's Next for Him?