It’s July and it HAS to get better:
The losing streak continues. After being in first place for almost 3 months the Giants have gone 5 and 20 since the Nationals came into town at the end of the first week in June and took 3 out of 4. It’s now the end of the first week in July and, even in the face of the disaster that has been June the G-Men are still only a half-game behind the Dodgers who lost to the Tigers while the G-men are currently (and once again) being pounded by the A’s. That’s probably the most unreal fact of all.
During this steak several things have become clear:
- The batting order needs to be tweaked to remove rookie holes. It is clear that teams are avoiding the big bats (especially Posey and Pence) and pitching around them to get to the rookies and the bench players that just can’t hit (yes I am talking about you Arias, and you Blanco and you Perez). That makes the big bats get frustrated and go out of the zone to get pitches they shouldn’t go after – watch, you’ll see it happen, especially to Pence (Pablo on the other hand has always gone out of the zone). Even Posey is guilty.
- On the bright side the starting pitching has been relatively good (especially Lincecum, and the no-hitter was a gem). Vogelsong has looked good, Bumgarner is really good (love the nose rockets) but clearly frustrated. Hudson is simply solid and Cain has had quality starts but no run support.
- On the dark side Sergio Romo has completely lost it and has apparently taken Machi and Gutierrez with him down the rabbit hole of forgetting to use the corners. When the bullpen slips we are in trouble and…we are in trouble. I keep wondering if it’s the margaritas (or those car stupid commercials) that have done Sergio in. Regardless, Casilla is now the closer for who knows how long. That is now a hole.
- The frustration is being felt throughout the organization – just look at Bochy tonight at the A’s game. He had facial expressions like Will Clark in 1987.
- The G-men need a lead-off hitter (oh where did you go Angel Pagan?), a second baseman and at least two good bench players.
- This June swoon was the worst ever. The G-Men now have the record for losing the most games while in first place of any team that has ever played the game (not an enviable record).
- Finally the G-Men were dissed in the All-Star voting. Hunter Pence as the only player voted in (as a reserve for God’s sake!) and Bumgarner as the only pitcher (Hudson may take his place). On the other hand seven A’s are in the all-star show. That pretty much shows what baseball thinks of the G-Men. Maybe it’s time for our boys to get mad. You think?
Where do we go from here? Is Orange the new Black?
The All-Star break should be a good time to get healthy. Scutaro (our bench) is in Fresno at a rehab assignment, Pagan may be back from his bad back and the G-Men may no longer be fielding a minor league team (which is what the last home stand felt like – how depressing to go 2 and 8 at home).
Sabean is holding his trade cards (if any) close to the vest. Samarjiza went to Oakland (along with Hamels, who is pitching tomorrow) and Brian seems to be indicating that he is standing pat and hoping that the team gets hot again. Is that a ploy? Who knows? But it might be correct that the talent in the Farm system doesn’t lend itself to any obvious deals and so standing pat is the best option.
From my point of view a second baseman would be nice; either Chase Utley (Phillies) or Daniel Murphy (Mets) would look really good in Orange jerseys.
I do expect a trade. Joe Panik is playing OK but has made a lot of rookie errors and clearly could use more seasoning at Triple A. It was good to see Duval come up and hit a dinger for his first hit in the show but his immaturity showed time and time again.
A healthy confident Giants team could turn this summer into a much nicer one.
The upcoming Home Stand
The G-Men are at home for 5 games against the A’s and the Snakes. There are some tickets available for 3 of the games.
The A’s are simply the best team in baseball right now (all-world?), The A’s shut the Giants out last night and won tonight. The G-Men have left maybe 90 men on base and the only run was scored on a dinger by Colvin (who I like on the bench). The Gigantes can’t buy a hit with men on base. If the Giants can win tomorrow (Cain) and Thursday (Hudson) it will be a good home stand no matter what happens.
The rest of the home stand (before the break) is against the Snakes, who of course (even while 12 and half games out) are on a winning streak and their entire offense seems to consist of Paul Goldschmidt. It seems that every team that the Giants have faced in the last month have come into AT&T on a winning streak. That has to stop and maybe the All-Star break (and a trade for Utley J) will do the trick!
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!