Are the Giants not good enough this season or are they poised and ready to strike as a wild-card team as they were last year?
Coincidentally I was thinking about this while having breakfast (sans sprig) this morning. After today’s game the Giants will be at the exact half-way point of the season and still in contention despite all the injuries to key players. However, those injuries have put the spotlight on the very deficiencies that may prevent the Giants from reaching the postseason. Grossly overpaying let alone signing Peavey (I’ll never understand that one), resigning inconsistent and aging Vogelsong and Romo when there are so many live arms in the minors, Justin Maxwell living down to his lifetime stats, streaky Brandon Belt playing left field (how long do we have to wait for him to reach his “potential”?), Bobby Evans stating on KNBR that their second most effective pitcher, Chris Heston, might be the odd man out (to his and the team’s detriment) when Cain and Peavey return because he has minor league options. Cobbling this lineup together on a day-to-day basis shows the greatness of Bruce Bochy. It looks like it may come down to the Giants, Cubs and Pirates, and as long as Bochy is at the helm the Giants can never be counted out. But this may not be their year unless their injured players quickly return to top form, or they dump a lot of salary and make a big splash (Aroldis Chapman, Cole Hamels, Chris Sale) before the trade deadline.
If they are around in September they can be dangerous. Even with the last Wild card spot. Right ?
Lets see what they do in the next couple of weeks on the trade market.
Can Peavy & Cain be productive ?
Its an odd year. They only win on even years. This is not their year.
Giant hitting is streaky but more than that I have noticed an entire pitching staff that is vulnerable…starters and relief alike. The league seems to be catching up to what they do and that includes Bumgarner .
Can they stop these periodical losing streaks?
I’m afraid to say they just have too many major injuries
to weather the storm.
It’s within them to stage a drive – but they
have to get healthy at some point in order
to do so.
In Bochy we trust?
They lose one starting OF, they have been able to overcome. When losing two, becomes harder. Now that all three are out the issues is magnified further. Here is what I see:
1. As is normal, Blanco is not a long term starter. He is a very good 4th outfielder and can get hot and start for stretches. But he is not an everyday ourfielder.
2. Pence changes the lineup even more than Pagan changes the lineup. His bat, and threat of the big hit is huge with a capital H! They need his bat, or one like his ASAP. The answer is NOT Maxwell on an every day basis.
3. Pagan is a catalyst when healthy. Has been for several years, but his inability to stay on the field has to be looked at with more scrutiny. Huge fan of him, but the issues are becoming more glaring.
I still have faith in the pitching staff. The can cobble together five starters and an overall very good bullpen. This management group has shown time and time again they can do that. If this team can simply hang around, get healthy, they will be ready to make an impact in the playoff race.
If I remember right June of last year they went into a slump just like this year.
When Pence and Aoke get back and settle in we will be in better shape. Pence’s energy on the field and in the dugout is sorely missed. It spreads to other players and good things start tto happen.
Pitching is the only thing I think that can permanently hold us back from the playoffs. Pray that Peavy and Cain are truly back.
Oh ya…and add a closer before the trade deadline!
Lowell Cohn, retired columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, covered sports for almost 40 years and never ran out of things to say.