Welcome to Czar’s blog #6 of 2017
There are about 100 games left – Do the Giants have a chance?
This is the principal question being asked by Giants fans from coast to coast. The answer is a very qualified yes (although the better question might be “chance at what?” -not finishing in the cellar?). It is quite clear however that the G-men have been simply dreadful so far in 2017.
The bad news: We are tied with the Padres (last in the NL West but that was expected for a team – the Padres - with three Rule 5 starters) for the fewest runs scored in the NL (161). The pitching staff sports a pathetic 4.37 ERA. Bumgarner is out until August, Hunter Pence’s hamstrings are trouble and he’s on the DL again, Nunez was out today with leg problems and we still don’t have a reliable middle reliever. It seems like the injuries come and go but more come than go.
The recent games: The Giants have played better recently and won 8 of their last 13 (before dropping the last three games to the Cubs and finishing the road trip 3 and 4 – maybe some bad calls mixed in there but good teams overcome bad calls). There have been more home runs (mostly without runners on base) and an occasional flash of the old team but again not enough and not sustained. Every time they look good they then look bad again. For every stellar Crawford pick there is a pitching meltdown from the bullpen in the late innings.
We are all hoping for a summer surge. If the 20 and 29 (11 games back) G-Men can get to .500 by the All-Star break they might have a shot but even then it would be a long shot. However, except for series against the Nationals and the Rockies, before the All-Star break they are playing against teams that they should play well against.
Whatever happens it’s worth it to see Buster’s excellent season (.361 average, 1.01 OPS), and Arroyo’s development (is it time for Austin Slater in left field?). I might also mention Ty Blach who wouldn’t be getting this chance if Bum was healthy. Blach looks good and looks like the future. These are guys we want to see play ball and thrive. Let’s relax and take the pressure off them and see what they can do over the next six weeks.
The NL West- Is the torch passing?
The Rockies are on top of the world and the Snakes are right behind them. The Dodgers (you know, the team with all their money invested in Bitcoin and Puerto Rico) are close and expect to be in the hunt until the end. This might be the year (like so many past) where we live to knock out the dreaded boys in blue. Again, the real key will be at All-Star break when we start to look at who is a seller and who is a buyer. Regardless, it’s still baseball and it beats the you-know-what out of politics.
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!