Welcome to Czar's Blog #10 of 2018 - Spoiler Time

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.

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WELCOME TO CZAR'S BLOG #9 OF 2018 - RANGERS, SNAKES AND METS

The Giants continue to play below .500 ball. They are in 4th place after being swept by last place Cincinnati and losing two in the row to the Mets (lost 6 out of 7 on this road trip). That follows a decent (and giving us hope) split of a series against the Pirates at home and then winning a series from the Dodgers (it was worth it to see Puig ejected) on the road. Regardless, the result is 62 and 66, 9.5 games back. The team looks lifeless and lost.

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Welcome to Czar's Blog #8 of 2018 | It's August - are you ready for some baseball?

There are two months left in the season, and the beginning of August schedule is brutal – do the G-Men have a shot if they can survive this period?

The Giants continue to play .500 ball.  They are 56 and 54 (4th place, 5 games out) as this post goes out. Right now the 4 game winning streak looks good but then again three of those games were a sweep of the bottom dwelling Padres after losing 3 out of 4 to the very hot Brewers.  The current series against the Snakes is huge and Bum came up big last night in an 8-1 victory. 

Starting Monday the 1st place AL West Astros come into AT&T, and then the 3rd place NL Central Pirates (with an almost identical record to the Giants), and then a series on the road against the 1st place Dodgers, and their new lineup. If the Giants come out of the next 13 games with a record better than .500 we can think there is actually a chance of a late August, early September, run.

One wonderful thing about baseball is that, as Yogi famously said, “it ain’t over till it’s over.” And folks, it is not over yet.  Our job as fans is to go to the games, cheer for the orange and black and encourage them to victory.  The Giants also have 5 more games at home than on the road in September.  That should be an advantage.  I intend to be there for every game I can get to; if for no other reason than to feast on crab sandwiches, and suck down Betty Sue’s infamous late inning Irish coffees.

If the Giants tank the next three weeks we can talk about emptying the River Cats bench to see what the future looks like.

Can the Giants overcome the loss of Cueto and the Panda?

Cueto is out until mid-2019 with Tommy John.  It was apparent in his three starts since his rehab that his arm was off.  The big loss is Panda.  His hamstring tear is an ugly injury and he will be missed.  He was the best back-up infielder (including at catcher), the best Giants pitcher (lowest ERA 0.0) this year and a clutch pinch-hitter. This makes Belt’s return imperative; especially considering that Posey just left the Snakes game with concussion symptoms after taking a wicked shot off his mask.

So, bottom line, Cueto will be missed but the pieces are there to pick up the slack; especially with the young pitchers (Rodriguez and Suarez) backing Bum and Holland. Panda is not replaceable. However, anymore starter losses and we are in trouble.

I predicted that the Giants would stand pat, and they did – what does that mean?

 See Czar’s blog #7 for details of the prediction.

It means that the young guys get to play for the next two months, we will see a constant shuttle between the AT&T and Raley’s field in Sacramento. There was no one player out there worth emptying the minor league system (even if the G-Men wanted to do that, and to blow the luxury tax threshold).

The bullpen is good (Ray Black is the real thing) and getting better, we may have a chastised Strickland back within a week or two and the G-Men have one of the best ERA’s in baseball.  On the hitting front we are in the top ten in dingers and this team can score runs; they just must do it in clutch situations.

Standing pat was the right thing to do.  Let’s play the hand we have and try not to draw to an inside straight.

The upcoming Series against the Astros and the Pirates, 2 of the best teams in baseball – will these two series tell the tale?

These two series are important, and are against dangerous teams.  This is a test and every Giants fan will be watching closely.  The G-Men must win at home to have a shot.  Now is the time.

That’s it!

Ciao, and GO GIANTS!

The Czar

Welcome to Czar's Blog #7 of 2018

The G-Men are 52 and 51, by definition, a .500 team.  After a good June, July has been disappointing, as anyone who has witnessed a succession of blown saves, and late inning comebacks followed by late inning collapses can attest. Going 2 and 4 against the A’s in the Bay Bridge series (late inning losses anyone?) was really a bummer, as splitting the two game series against the Mariners, and losing Belt to a hyper-extended knee. Unless the Giants make a run over the next three weeks, it will be a summer and fall to enjoy the weather and the crab sandwiches at AT&T.

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Welcome to Czar's Blog #6 of 2018

The 45 and 42 G-Men are performing as we had hoped at the mid-year point; considering the injuries in the first half and the travel schedule from hell with the team bouncing back and forth to the east coast and playing 8 more away than home games. The advantage here is that in the second half the almost completely healthy Giants will be home (where they dominate - 24 and 14) more than away.

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