The Mets, Nationals and Rockies

Murderer’s row?

The G-Men are in first place at 38 and 21 with the best record in the NL (the A’s have the best record in the AL). We are at least 7 games over the Dodgers and 8 1/2 over the Rockies.  This is simply the best Giants team I think that  I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching them since 1958. Yes 2002 was a great team, so was 1962, 2010 (and for that matter 1989) was scrappy (and tortured) and 2012 was stubborn (they refused to give up – ever) but this team is like magic; good in all phases of the game, good hitting, great defense, good pitching, great bullpen, balanced, sane, playful, really well managed and capable of more two-out rallies than any team in baseball.

Then the G-Men go to St. Louis and take 3 out of 4 from the Cardinals (with lop-sided scores) and Adam Wainwright compares the Giants line-up to Murderer’s row; a compliment for sure and something that got a lot of press – but are the Giant’s in that league?

The original Murderer’s row was the line-up for the 1927 Yankees, pretty much accepted as the best team to ever play the game; Earl Combs [.356 BA], Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth [.356 BA, 164 RBI’s, 60 HR’s], Lou Gehrig [.373 BA, 175 RBI’s, 47 HR’s], Bob Meusel [.337 BA, 103 RBI’s] and Tony Lazzeri. They finished the season 110 and 44, and swept the WS. The team BA was .307, team slugging was .489, Team ERA was 3.20 and they scored 975 runs. 7 members of that team are in the Hall of fame – Gehrig, Ruth, Lazzeri, Combs, Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock (pitchers) and Miller Higgins, the Manager.

The purpose  of this is to get a little perspective. Pagan, Pence, Sandoval, Posey, Morse and Crawford are a really good line up but they have a ways to go to be Murderer’s row. Let’s hope they don’t let that get into their heads. But if Morse hits 60 plus HR’s then I become a believer.

 

The Players and the Injury Report

We have yet to see a healthy Matt Cain, but should this Saturday when he starts again. Hamstring strains are strange things as Casilla should know (although he is getting well quickly it seems and might even be back during this home stand).  Belt got his cast off and should be ready in less than two weeks.  Will we see him in the Rockies series?  I doubt it but he’s close. Still no word on Scutaro and the rest that Bochy gave Posey (he’s has been in a slump but pulling out of it) seems to be helping the last couple of games.

Right now the guy that seems to need a break is Hector Sanchez, who is getting really beat up behind the dish; especially catching Lincecum.

What will this team be like when everyone is healthy?  Good question. Belt moves back to first, and Morse to left, the Panda is back to his old self (with help from Bumgarner’s boots in the dugout – seeing Pablo hug a set of boots is pretty cool – good looking boots also) and the bullpen gets healthy. If this pace keeps up until July the Dodgers are going to get desperate and will try to trade for Prince Fielder (wait, isn’t he on the DL for the rest of his life and his 210 million contract?) or some other high-priced players that will breed more resentment over playing time at Chavez Ravine.

The rumor mill has the G-Men going after Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs and putting Lincecum into the bullpen. It wouldn’t be a bad move on a lot of fronts; Jeff is a free spirit with long hair (a culture fit for sure) and it would set up the rotation for a the stretch run but it’s still June so there is plenty of time. Also, coming to the Giants will be very attractive for a free-agent pitcher that really wants a ring.

 

The Home stand

This 10 game home stand is one of the longest of the year and should be a good test of the team because the three teams, the Mets, Nationals and the Rockies, are all strong middle of the pack teams that are playing well.

The Book on the Met’s, Nationals and Rockies:

The New York Mets (4th place in the NL East at 28 and 31) were 11-18 in May after a hot start to the season, but they had series wins against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies so they are not to be trifled with. Jacob deGrom looks like the real deal with a 2.42 ERA and .182 BAA through his first four starts. He struck out 11 in 6.1 innings of work his last time out against the Phillies.  Players to watch: 1B Lucas Duda); SP Jacob deGrom.

The Nat’s are over. 500 at 29 and 28 and 3rd in the NL East. They were just 11-15 in May and dealt a number of injuries during the month; however they are still just 3.5 games back in the NL East. Ryan Zimmerman is on the rehab trail and has been moved to LF. The absence of regular left fielder Bryce Harper is being felt. Adam LaRoche returned from the DL stint and had a big week. Players to watch: 1B Adam LaRoche and SP Stephen Strasburg.

The division rival Rockies are just 6-14 over their last 20 games, and they were just 2-7 on their recent road trip. They have dropped to 3rd in the NL West and can’t seem to win on the road.  Let’s hope this trip to AT&T is no different. Players to watch: 2B DJ LeMahieu, SP Jorge De La Rosa.

This should be a solid home stand against good teams, all lusting to beat the G-men


Ciao, and GO GIANTS!
The Czar