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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Giants Work Not Done Yet

The Giants completed phase one of their goal Saturday night at AT&T Park, but it's hardly time to start celebrating just yet.

San Francisco clinched the NL West with their win over San Diego Saturday, and have reserved their spot in the postseason with 10 days still left in the season. Their wins over the last few weeks have been almost identical as they've been getting their vintage starting efforts, and have the offense locked into a pretty good groove. After the outing Ryan Vogelsong had Friday, his first solid outing in 6 weeks, you kind of got the feeling the Giants were going to seal it up this weekend. Madison Bumgarner followed up Vogey's gem with a solid, yet unspectacular outing, but did more than enough on the mound and at the plate to help lead the Giants. Once again, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro set the table beautifully at the top of the lineup, and Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt had the hot bats in the middle of the order. Speaking of Belt and Pence, those two are going to be huge entering October as Buster Posey's walk rate is due to sky rocket, and it looks like they're up for the task. This lineup has come a long way over the last few months, and has the ability to put crooked numbers up on the board now. They don't necessarily have to be getting A+ starts every night from their starters, cause that lineup is really carrying their weight.

Now the Giants should have two main goals between now and when games start counting again. First of all, I expect to see Bochy give every regular a few days off before getting them back out there. Although it was a pretty low key celebration, their were still a lot of guys in that clubhouse who will be making their first postseason trip, and the champagne was flowing and some guys may need a day or two to get their feet back under them. However, I'd expect that by the team is back out on the road, they'll shift their focus back to winning, and trying their best to improve their status for home field advantage in October. It looks like the Reds will hold home field throughout for whoever they face, but the Giants still have a shot at overtaking Washington with a strong finish. Either way, I don't want to see Boch start mixing things up too much. Keep guys fresh, but try and keep that same lineup rolling out there together to keep building off what they've done. Sometimes you see teams who clinch early like this take the last few weeks off mentally, and never really recover. It's up to Boch to make sure that doesn't happen, and with his track record, I assume he'll do a pretty good job.  

There's still a long way to go before this team and city can really start to celebrate though, and they know it. This has been a fun, unique team to watch come together, and as I've said throughout the second half, it's reminding me more of the 2010 bunch each day. I expect them to be ready for whatever team they wind up facing in the NLDS.
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8 Comments:

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    I almost wish they would have clinched later this week so they wouldn't be rusty. That's why they did so good in 2010 because they played until the final day to determine the NL West.

     
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    Do Buster and Tim Lincecum not like each other? I want to see them work together in the playoffs. Don't trust the rookie Sanchez.

     
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