The bottom line – now is NOT the time to Panik
The G-Men are 4.5 games back of the Dodger’s and in the lead for the second wild card in the play-off’s. The Giants brain trust is confident but perhaps a bit premature in the requirement to buy playoff tickets by week after next or forfeit them. On the most recent road trip the boys were 3 and 3, won two of three from the Cubs and lost two of three to the Nationals (the best team in the NL, 20 games over .500). As noted last week, this looks like a .500 team.
The good news is that Joe Panik is really starting to look like the 2nd baseman of the future. Sweet swing, .307 BA (with a 3 run dinger against the Nationals) and solid defense. He looks like a great compliment to Crawford (who has been pressing and is still hovering around.230). The top of the order is hitting much better and it looks like Buster and Morse are both coming alive – Buster because his hips were treated and Morse because he has decided not to be pull-happy. The Panda is solid in this, his contract year, with the best defense of his career, a .288 BA, 14 HR’s and 59 RBI’s.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is Travis Ishikawa, picked off waivers for bench support. We have always liked Ishi and he is batting over .300 and hitting homers in his new role. He can even play left field to spell Morse.
The bad news is that Belt is not getting better from his concussion (although he swears he will be back this season) I didn’t realize that he also had a serious concussion in college and that is very worrisome. On that front, it looks like Sanchez is out for the season (Susac has been capable), Scutaro is not coming back – ever I suspect, Cain is out until the spring and Lincecum is in the middle of his annual late season (lost release point and bad mechanics) melt-down. He will probably miss his next start and go to the bullpen.
It’s time for September baseball!
On September 1st rosters expand and I don’t who we will see up from the minors (because I don’t know who is left down after all the recent call-up’s). However The Giants MUST win their division games to have a shot at the wild card. Atlanta is breathing down their neck and the Cardinals are fighting the Brewers not only for their division but for the first wild card.
Every game is now a must win game for every team, which is why it was so much fun to see the video of Puig’s bone head run into a triple play today. Puig Is truly the face of the Dodgers.
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!