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.
Ciao, and GO GIANTS!