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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Giants Cruise Into All-Star Break

Heading into July, the Giants were sputtering and fans started to panic a little bit. However, over the last 10 days, the Giants seem to have hit their offensive stride, it's just too bad they did it just in time for the all-star break.

All of the sudden, over the last week, the Giants offense has just exploded. They've scored 53 runs over their last 7 games, good for about 7.5 runs per game, and they've gone 6-1 in that span. One guy who's really flown under the radar in this first half has been huge over the last week, and that guy is Travis Ishikawa. Before July 1st, Ishikawa had just 36 at-bats all year, but since July 1st, he's collected 25 at-bats and has been extremely productive with those ab's (.385 with 1 hr and 8 RBI). Ever since the Giants traded away Bengie Molina, they've they've been working with some extra at-bats and Ishikawa has taken full advantage. So much so, that Giants fans are going to be expecting to see more of him when the Giants resume play on Thursday against the Mets. When Ishikawa plays first, Aubrey Huff has moved back to left-field, which once again takes the bat out of either Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowannd or Andres Torres hand, but with the way Ishi is playing, you have to do it in order to make room. Also, besides his clutch hitting, Ishikawa has always been a plus defender over at first base and although Huff has done a very good job over there this year, having Ishi there really strengthens the infield defense.

Speaking of Aubrey Huff, Giants management has to be pleased with the way his year has gone as we hit the un-official halfway point in the year. I remember before the seasons started, he was asked a ton about how he's going to deal with that huge right field space at AT&T, and early in the season, he had a few balls knocked down out there that would have been home runs almost anywhere else. However, he's showed his veteran savy, and has figured it out. He's hit 9 of his 17 first half home runs at home, and looks to be quite comfortable hitting in the pitcher-friendly confines of this yard. There hasn't been many left-handed power hitters who have come in and had success here, outside of Barry Bonds, but Huff looks to be one of those rare cases. Because of that, I think it would be wise for the Giants to try and extend him another year right now if possible. He's probably going to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs and will get a multi-year deal somewhere if he hits the market, so why not give him a 1 year, $7 million extension right now if he'd do it. If Ishikawa continues to emerge in the 2nd half of the year and claims first base, then Huff can play the outfield in 2011, as he's shown the ability to do so this year.

Up Next: Up next here at The Giants Baseball Blog, we'll get into our first half review of the Giants season up to the All-Star break and discuss what needs to change in the second half in order for the Giants to win this wide-open division where 4 teams are separated by 4 games or less.
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  • At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Giants first half can be summed up in a word...TORTURE!!!

  • At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Tony said…

    I agree with Anonymous. Between their ridiculously streaky play and all the close games, this team can be painful to watch.

  • At 12:40 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Trevor, sure the Giants have scored more runs lately, but that has to do a lot with who they were playing. The Brewers and Nats are not really known for pitching, and the one ace they faced in Strasberg totally shut them down. Posey and Huff are carrying the offense right now, but to expect them to keep it up all year is asking too much. This team still cannot beat the Padres, Dodgers and Rockies, and they won't without help. They currently are the fourth best team in the division, but until they can beat these other teams head to head, it is hard to get really excited about the race for a playoff spot.

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