San Francisco Giants: Should We Be Worried?

Apr 24, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) hits a single against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) hits a single against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

 The San Francisco Giants’ series against the Marlins restored some life to AT&T Park, but do the fans still have reason for concern?

The San Francisco Giants are now 9-11 and people are worrying. Let’s look at the areas that could cause continued problems this season.

First off: the tail end of the pitching rotation. Matt Cain is holding a 6.43 ERA with two losses on the year. Jake Peavy has an even worse 6.86 ERA so far on the season, which is surprisingly much better than it was a few days ago. That is due in large part to his outing Saturday in a win against the Marlins.

Both pitchers have had promising starts but Cain has yet to pitch past the sixth inning and Peavy’s first appearance past the fifth inning was in his Saturday win against the Marlins.

What makes this situation more worrisome is that there doesn’t seem to be anybody waiting in the wings, ready to come in and take the starting job from either Cain or Peavy. The most viable option is Chris Heston, and he just got moved back down to AAA ball.

If you’re going to worry, this is what it should be about. However, the last outing by both Cain and Peavy have inspired some degree of hope. And lest anybody forget, in 2014 the pitchers got off to a less than dazzling start and we all know how that year turned out.

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Offensively, the Giants have been mired in a slump. Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco are the only men on the roster hitting over .300 for the year — besides, oddly enough, Jake Peavy.  And before the series with the Marlins, those averages were even worse. They were in a hitting rut.

However, you had to believe that with names like Buster Posey and Hunter Pence on the roster, the hitting would come around. And it did in the series against Miami. Posey, Pence, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Denard Span had two hits a piece in their win Friday against the Marlins.

After taking time off and working with the hitting coach, Matt Duffy‘s numbers have rebounded as well. Part of that may have been due to the lineup change that Bruce Bochy made, which involved moving Duffy and Pence around in the order.

The Giants have recorded an impressive 99 runs in 20 games this season, and that’s with a hitting slump and a shutout on their resume. With the names they have in their rotation, runs will not be a major issue this season.

The Giants also happen to be in one of the strongest and most competitive divisions out there. Before the Marlins series, the last 14 games had been against teams in the NL West. You better believe they were eager to welcome an outside opponent to break things up and give them change of pace. It seems to be something that helped the Giants.

What was really missing from this team was the excitement, and there were definite moments of that in this series. They needed to inject life back into the game and bring back the type of passionate play that Giants fans are accustomed to.

That life came back Friday night, thanks in part to Jeff Samardzija. He pitched impressively over 7 2/3 innings and even helped offensively by driving in three runs in his debut Friday. It was certainly the best and most thrilling ball they have played since those first couple games.

Now, they need to bring that play into series against teams in the NL West. They will be tested tonight with a series against the San Diego Padres to see if they can build upon the energy and level of play they showed against the Marlins.

Next: San Francisco Giants: The Week That Was

The season started off promisingly and then came to a crashing halt. And it brought some humbling thoughts to the minds of everyone involved. Should we be worried about the Giants given their slow start this season? It has already been a bit of a roller coaster, so let’s go to Bochy for that answer: “I don’t worry, but it’s frustrating.”

The baseball season is a long one and this is just the beginning, so let’s not panic just yet.