The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - the Good
After a so-so 4 and 6 road trip against the Nationals (took the series 2 to 1), Marlins (where they dropped 3 out of 4) and Dodgers (where they lost the series 2 to 1, including a Bumgarner start), the G-Men are 35 and 37, 4.5 games in back of the Snakes (who are coming on again) and 2 in back of LA. The entire division is basically even (there are now 6.5 games between 1st place Arizona and last place San Diego).
No one has pulled away from the pack and put a stamp on the division. This is good because unless something happens and one team pulls away the Giants have a chance, however faint it may be, to stay even and make a run in the second half of the season.
There is not much else good to report except that Bum is back and has an attitude – in the Miami series he got ejected AFTER being taken out of the game.
And remember that this is the good!
In this category the Giants hitting deserves a mention – reportedly they have the 2nd best offense in the National League. They are certainly hitting better than last year (and Crawford is playing like a HOF player) but that is not enough to overcome a failure of pitching at critical times (see: the “BAD” below).
Also deserving of a mention is Dereck Rodriguez (Pudge’s son, who came up in the Colorado series). He is sticking with the big club and looking good (quality start in Miami). The question is whether he can take Holland’s place on the roster when Cueto and the Shark come back up. Probably not, but he should.
It is good to see the Panda back and playing like he did in the day. I don’t know how long it will be but we will not miss Longoria as much as we think with Pablo at the hot corner.
Right now it’s less about the injury list then the pitching. Only four players are on the DL are but one of them is the starting third baseman (Longoria – with a broken hand just as he was playing up to his reputation). The others important ones are starting pitchers (Cueto and the Shark).
Bum is back. Panik is back, Belt is back (dinger today) and Pence is back. Panik is producing, Pence is not, but then again neither is Williamson.
The bullpen should be strong with Wilson, Smith, Dyson and Strickland but somehow they don’t seem to get it done. Blown leads are becoming a bullpen specialty. That is bad, it is also ugly.
This is easy – blown leads, failures to move the line along and a general feeling that the Giants are playing mediocre ball without the desire to move up and seize the division from the Dodgers and the Snakes.
I am thinking that it’s time to retire Pence, give up on Jackson and send Williamson back down. We have Slater and Duggar hitting the snot out of the ball at Sacramento and we just signed a new Buster Posey with the number two spot in the draft (Joey Bart – remember that name). Maybe it’s time to see if the young guys can step up and infuse energy into the team.
This ten game series – the Fish, the Padres and the Rockies
If it was ever pay-back time for anything it’s the Marlins series at ATT starting tomorrow night. They took three out of four in Miami and the G-Men had to go 16 innings to win one game. I’d be there myself but I’m at a conference in Hawaii (kind of a bummer, but not). The Padres and the Rockies are division games, and very important. Be there if I can’t be!
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!