The Math doesn’t work
It’s that time of year when we look at the division races and realize that the Giants will come up short. There are not enough games left for any other result to be realistic. When that is coupled with the injuries (Buster, Cueto, Duggar, Samarjdiza, Panda and, today, Ryder Jones, all out for the season), the trades (Cutch for a minor leaguer) and the lack of ability to hit the ball, we are watching a slow-motion train wreck.
The G-Men are not yet mathematically eliminated, but that day is rapidly approaching. Being 8 games under .500 (68 and 76), 11 and half games back in the NL West and with a current 8 game losing streak (back to back sweeps by Colorado and the Brew Crew) the pain is apparent and the goal of September is to figure out next April.
The magic of September is the ability to spoil the race for the other teams. The first chance will come this week (Including tomorrow) when the Giants play the Atlanta Braves. The Braves record is 78 and 64, and they are leading the NL East. The Braves should be in the postseason but they seem to be fading down the stretch (4 wins and 6 losses in the last 10 games), and the Phillies are coming on strong. The Giants always play Atlanta (who will be in town for three games – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) tough and this is a chance for redemption in front of the home fans. Our guys are pros and their pride must be hurt.
Then the Rockies come in for another three-game series (right now the Rockies are a game and a half in front of the Dodgers). So, bottom line, the Giants have a chance to shake up the division race by loosening up and taking a series from the Rockies. The G-Men always play the Rockies tough at AT&T.
The end of the season series will be the Dodgers. That will be revenge time.
About the young guys?
It was a real joy to watch the homeruns by Gomez and Chris Shaw in their first major league games. I was at AT&T for the Gomez dinger (his Dad and family were about ten rows in back of me, and very loud – which was cool) and watched the Shaw bomb in Colorado on TV.
Right now the Twitter verse is focused on what’s going to happen to Brandon Belt. I say sell in the off season. Belt is a streaky hitter but is an outstanding defender who could probably do well in a smaller park. When Buster returns in the spring it will be time for him to move to First Base, his future. There is no other spot for Belt so let’s see what the market for him looks like.
That scenario also gives the Giants the ability to advance the number one draft choice this year (Joey Bart, #2 in the draft) up to the majors (or at least to Spring Training) as a catcher; he is on the same progression that Buster was on ten years ago. I also like Aramis Gomez in a tandem with Nick Hundley (who should be brought back).
It’s not too early to talk about what next year’s team look like. Two exciting rookies are Duggar and Gomez. The jury is still out on Slater and Shaw; a good September for either of them will make a difference. Nothing will happen to Longoria because of his contract. Crawford is a lock.
Alan Hanson has been excellent and may replace Panik, who has not looked the same for the last six weeks. Maybe it’s an injury but he can’t seem to get down on balls that he used to get to easily, and his batting average has been plummeting.
Watching these guys during the next three weeks will give a clue what the 2019 Giants will look like. The bright side is that the pitching has been outstanding. Dereck Rodriguez is a gem (and starts tomorrow night against Atlanta); he is perhaps the next Madison Bumgarner. Suarez has pitched out of his mind. Looking at a starting rotation of Bum, Cueto, Rodriquez and Suarez, and a healthy bullpen, bodes well for the future.
Last Question – Bryce Harper in 2019?
We need a big bat. Period. Harper will be the best on the market. It’s time to blow off the luxury tax cap. Enough said.
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!