Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things Are Looking Up, If You Look Closely

Although the Giants' record doesn't prove it too much (31-25, 3rd in the NL West), there have no doubt been changes for the better in the last week or so for this team.

The call-up of Buster Posey not long ago headlines them all. He made his 2nd coming to the Majors by putting up intense numbers in his first 2 games an then some and has bolstered this offense that needed it so bad.

But it's more than just Posey, although he is the sexy name to pin it on. Aubrey Huff may be responsible for this sudden change in aerial scenery that the Giants needed so badly a few weeks ago. Arguably the hottest player on the Giants right now, Huff has made the gracious switch to left field making way for Posey at 1st base and giving Benjie Molina one last try at catcher before the Posey Era officially begins. Which may be sooner than we thought.

Another bright spot for the Giants in the last week or so has been the return of Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez is the hottest Giant average-wise batting .379 since his return, and has been a bright spot defensively as well. He sparks that line-up giving them something that the Giants were not seeing in the first month or so of the season, contact with the baseball.

We have managed to see bright spots offensively on this team while the Giants' best asset, its pitching, is struggling, to some extent. Lincecum is not himself lately for several reasons that could be pointed out, one of which is that the opposing batters are just plainly bringing their better game when facing him because he is a 2-time Cy Young winner. They have figured him out, or so it seems. The challenge here for Lincecum is figuring out how to get back to form and make batters miss again. That's what the great pitchers do, learn.

But despite the bright sides of the offense right now, there have been a few who have been stuck in slumps, which is an understatement, especially if your name is Pablo Sandoval. Yes, we are getting a little greedy saying that Sandoval batting .281 is in a slump, but this isn't like him. It's not something we have seen before out of him. The Giants have tried just about everything to try to pull him out of this slump, even sending him down to the 8th spot to prove a point, I guess. Didn't work. The only thing left is the one punishment that should have been used first and maybe we wouldn't be having this issue...sit him down. Let him take a look around and see the game, learn the game. He has 30 more at-bats than the closest Giant, give him a rest. Sure, fatigue is probably not his problem right now, but the bench may be swift kick in the ass he needs to snap out of it. Then the Giants have a line-up.

Another swift kick in the ass needs to be headed Molina's way. It appears as if Molina is on the way out, at least to the back-up role. The only thing keeping him starting right now is his feel for the pitchers, and if you have noticed, the Giants are trying to get Posey up to par with the pitchers as well, making it a easier transition for when Molina gets the boot.

But we have to look at the numerous bright spots right now. The Giants are winning...at least more than half of their games. That is with their best hitter and best pitcher not producing as they should. Posey got called up, Sanchez is on point, Uribe is doing his thing, Torres is a spark, and we might see Bumgarner sooner than we think.

Things are a'changin for the Giants, they've gotten younger and seem to be playing a better style of baseball than we have seen in months past. Seems like this should have been done a lot sooner. Blame that on the call-up of Posey or whatever you want, but if the Giants get the rest of the team up to par with the guys who are going out there every night and contributing, they might have something here.

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