Giants' Lineup Finally Clicking
Bruce Bochy has used so many different lineups throughout this year, that it's been extremely rare to see the exact same bunch thrown out there for more than 1 or 2 days at a time. However, over the last week or so, Bochy has found a starting 8 that have meshed terrifically.
The Giants are 7-2 over their last 9 games, and they have done it with offense. In that 9-game stretch, the Giants have averaged about 6 runs per game. With their pitching, if they can score 5-6 runs per night, they are going to be very tough to beat. A big part of the Giants recent offensive surge has been the play of the newest Giant, Pat Burrell. The guy who most casted off as done and washed up has really shown new life here in San Francisco. The 33-year old outfielder has played in just 10 games here in San Francisco, and has only 27 at-bats, but he's contributed plenty, hitting .407 with 2 homers and 5 RBI heading into play Tuesday night and seems to have solidified his spot in the starting lineup. Bochy has been using Burrell in the fifth spot, right behind Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff and right in front of Buster Posey and it's really working for them. Huff and Uribe have been red hot along with Burrell. In fact, the heart of the Giants order have combined for 5 homers and 12 RBI over the last 4 games, all Giant wins, and have helped move the Giants back into a 3-way tie for first place.
The only issue Bochy's going to be facing is all that money that the Giants have sitting on the bench. Aaron Rowand, who's making 13.5 million this year, has become the 4th outfielder, and 13.5 mill is a tad high to be paying a bench guy. At the same time, who's Bochy supposed to sit? Andres Torres has taken over the leadoff spot and has been playing so well that he's gaining consideration as an all-star ballot write-in. Aubrey Huff has really been the Giants most consistent hitter since day 1 this season, and Pat Burrell has provided the Giants with the legit (30 hr a year type) right-handed power hitter, something they've lacked since Jeff Kent was here. Also, Mark DeRosa and Edgar Renteria are currently on the DL, but those guys will be coming back sooner than later, and they're another 2 who are going to need their share of at-bats. Especially Renteria who was on fire (hitting .326) when he went down. It almost seems as if the Giants are going to have to make some kind of trade or maybe have to bite the bullet and release a player. Mark DeRosa would be my choice since he's hurt and may eventually miss the season anyway, but he's signed for 2011 and the Giants have to pay him whether he's on the roster or not.
Up Next: The Giants continue their interleague series with the Orioles at AT&T Park Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, before travelling north of the border up to Canada to play 3 against the Blue Jays.