No Buster Posey? No Kris Bryant? No Kevin Gausman? So far it's been no problem for the Giants as they've cruised to a 7-2 start and head to New York for their second road series of the season.
It's still very early, so it's hard to make any real judgments on the long term potential of this team just yet but as of now, it looks like they haven't missed a beat from that 107 win season a year ago. In fact, I would say there are aspects of this team that are an improvement over last years bunch.
First off, of course we have to commend the unit that has propelled this impressive start and that is the starting rotation. Anthony DeSclafini is the only one who's yet to make it out of the fifth inning for his two starts but he looked much better in his second outing on Saturday after getting hit pretty hard by the Marlins at Oracle last week.
Logan Webb and Carlos Rodon have really set the tone atop this rotation though. Webb has gone 14 innings over his two starts, allowing just 2 runs with 10 k's and a 0.71 WHIP. Pretty much standard for 25 year-old ace ever since he elevated in that final start of the regular season last year and carried it into a dominant postseason.
I said on twitter the other day that Rodon has made Giants' fans forget a little bit about the guy he's replacing by going 12 innings, allowing just 2 runs with a major league leading 21 strikeouts. He's looked about as dominant as anyone in baseball through the first couple weeks and he brings an energy to the mound with him that I think fires up his teammates.
Of course Alex Wood's impressive couple of starts don't stick out as much as Webb and Rodon but we cannot overlook them as he's also allowed just two runs in two outings with over a strikeout per inning. He's another guy who's picked right up where he left off in 2021.
Alex Cobb generated a lot of buzz with the stuff he had in his first start. If he goes at New York with anything close to what he had vs. San Diego his first time out then the Giants will have a great chance at winning their 6th game in a row.
The starting rotation has been better than I think anyone was anticipating, and the expectations were pretty high for this bunch coming in. They have dual aces at the top and 3 guys who all look like legit number three's behind them. Again, it's still very early but this Giants rotation is lining up to be one of the best, if not the best in all of baseball. That Guardians' team they just went in and silenced were swinging it pretty well before the Giants came to town.
The offense, has also come alive as they've been a different bunch since that big outburst in game two vs, San Diego. Joc Pederson is hitting over .300 with power. Brandon Belt is picking right up where he left off last season before going down with the broken hand. Joey Bart is still battling the strikeouts, which will improve with experience, but he's had some of the most impressive exit velocities of the young season. Thairo Estrada has become Mr, Clutch.
People were worried about if the Giants would score enough runs, and that still could become an issue at some points in the season, but right now things are going very well and there are a bunch of areas where they're still going to get better. Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski and Darrin Ruf haven't even really gotten going yet. Plus we can't forget that they're still without a few bats who will only improve the depth of this team when they come back.
The bullpen has also been a bit overshadowed by the rotation to start the year but they too look like the strong unit that carried them throughout the summer last year.
Now they'll get.a huge test as they head to New York for four games vs. the Mets, who themselves are off to a nice start. This should give us an idea on where this team really stands here early on. They'll face the best arms the Met's have, sans the injured Jacob DeGrom. It's going to be similar to the way they started out the year vs. those strong young arms on the Marlins and they managed to take two of three there.
You know this teams clicking when they're taking advantage of their opponents mistakes and the extra opportunities while being led by their pitching. That's what they're doing right now and that's a formula that enables them to beat teams with maybe a deeper lineup than them.