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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Giants Keep Winning, Despite Injuries

Well, were inching in on the All-Star break, at which time you can usually tell which teams are for real, and which aren't. A lot of people expected the Giants to fade by now, after losing their best player as well as their #2 hitter for the season (though Sanchez may return in September) but even when they look like they may start faltering, they right themselves and return to doing what won them the World Series last November.

Saturday's game was a beautiful example of how the Giants season has gone, in a nutshell. Matt Cain was brilliant, once again, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing just a handful of base runners and striking out 6. He most likely solidified his spot on the NL All-Star team with the victory, if he hadn't already. But again, the Giants offense failed to show up for the right-hander and didn't drive in a single run as a team. The only run of the game came on a bases-loaded balk by Todd Sipp, and that's all the scoring the Giants pitching staff would need on that particular day. They've won a lot of ballgames just like that, though not on bases-loaded balks, but by taking advantage of other teams mistakes and errors, which is something they do as well or better than any team in baseball. It's the reason why they could move up 1 1/2 games on the 2nd place D-Backs with a win tonight as they throw out tough luck lefty Madison Bumgarner vs. one of the most hittable pitchers in baseball, Fausto Carmona. If the Giants can't get their bats going tonight, I don't know when they will. The Indian's opening day starter has allowed 105 hits in his 96 innings of work this year and is sporting an era just .02 points shy of 6 (5.98). One thing is certain though, Nate Schieholtz needs to be playing daily, especially vs. righties, and I would like to see Bill Hall get some more time at 2nd base. Thomas Neal is the next guy in line in Fresno I'd like to see get a look as well, and I wouldn't mind seeing them throw catcher Hector Sanchez into the mix (more on those fellas in the Minor League Report next post) if they aren't going to add another backstop. Manny Burris is a nice young player, but he's not an everyday guy, and isn't a very good hitter from the left-side. Not saying Hall is going to be infinitely better, but he would bring pop to a lineup that badly needs it.

The other big thing in the news regarding the Giants this weekend has been switch from Jonathan Sanchez back to Barry Zito. Sanchez was struggling badly over his last few starts, not getting hit by the other team but having a hard time finding the strike zone with regularity. The Giants say he officially has tendinitis in his biceps, but I think it's more of a move to give Sanchez a break and Zito back into the mix. Zito has been throwing quite well in his rehab assignment and is certainly ready for big league action again, but if he doesn't pitch well in his next 3-4 starts and Sanchez rehabs well in Fresno, we'll be back in the same spot. I know a lot of people have wanted to deal Sanchez for a hitter, but his stock is at an all-time low right now. However, if he throws well when he returns, and Zito's pitching well too, they could re-visit that option. I'm not sure what type of players the Twins are looking for, but there are a few guys on that roster I wouldn't mind plucking away in Michael Cuddyer and Alexi Cassilla. Cuddyer could move right into left field and Cassilla could man shortstop or 2nd base. Another team that will be looking to deal is the Chicago Cubs, who have a bunch of guys the Giants could use too. Even though it's not been discussed, I'd be very intrigued by a possible Alfonso Soriano/Barry Zito swap. Both have identical contracts and the Cubs need pitching while the Giants need hitting. Zito would immediately become their #2 starter behind Zambrano, while Soriano would be a nice fit in LF for SF. I know Soriano has his doubters and haters, but he's still a threat at the plate and a dangerous, all-star caliber hitter who's good for a .275/30/80 line when healthy. I think it would be great if the Giants could get that kind of player, a power threat they really haven't had since Barry left!

Even though Posey and Sanchez are out, I just can't see Brian Sabean sitting on his hands thinking of 2012. The Giants, even without Posey and Sanchez, look to me like the 2nd best team in the NL right now, behind only the Phillies. The Albert Pujols-less Cardinals don't scare me, and I'm pretty sure the Giants can handle the Brewers and D-Backs. Even if Buster was out there, the Giants still could use another bat, so they should definitely be proactive. That said, Sabean should only deal for players who he feels have a good chance staying in San Francisco beyond this season. Meaning no trading away the farm for a rental like Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran (as much as I'd like to have them in San Fran) unless those guys agree to an extension before hand.
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6 Comments:

  • At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They need to get Brandon Crawford out of the lineup... He had 2 great games that if you took away, he'd have 0 homers and 2 RBI with an even lower average. And Boch has him hitting 2nd for Sunday Night Baseball?????????

    Can Hall play shortstop? Or even Burris? When's Fontenot coming back?

     
  • At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Nate said…

    I'd trade Zito for Soriano in a heartbeat.

     
  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Madison is throwing like a young Tom Glavine tonight. Very fun to watch him work. Only that ground ball that was foul and called fair is the blemish on his evening, and he pitched out of that situation brilliantly.

    Still would like to see some more runs scored for him though. They've had numerous opps. vs. Carmona tonight and easily could have 5-6 runs instead of 3 heading into the 7th.

    Also, Sandoval was just removed because of a bum quad, which must have happened on his run to third on Huff's ground out following his double, cause I don't think it was the easy stand up double that hurt him. Hopefully it's only precautionary, with all the injuries to the club and all, that would be brutal if he had to be DL'd, again. Let's hope he's ready to go Tuesday in Chicago.

     
  • At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    What about Jeff Franceur from KC? He could start in left field and is hitting .265 with 10 HR and 48 RBI for the Royals. We sure could use an outfielder with that sort of power.

     
  • At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Jeffster said…

    I'd take Soriano, or Carlos Pena, or Aramis Ramirez or Geo Soto... Any of those Cubs power hitters would be welcome additions to this punch and judy lineup.

     
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