Thursday, July 15, 2010

5 Reasons the Giants Will Make the Playoffs


The Giants are in the hunt to play October baseball. They have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003 when they went wire to wire. I give you 5 reasons to be optimistic about their chances.

1) The Pitching


July 07, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum  pitched for 7 innings giving up 1 run and 4 hits to the Milwaukee Brewers tonight..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the San Francisco Giants 2-15..Mike McGinnis / CSM.
It is well known that the 2010 Giants are a team built around pitching. This is the bread and butter for powering this team. So far the pitching has been good but really not as good as it could be and even with that being said it still ranks as one of the strongest groups of pitchers in the league. They have a starting rotation that most teams would envy that has talent all the way through the fifth starter, they have a bullpen that is stockpiled with power arms that can strike people out in bunches, all very good things to have.

They are 3rd in ERA, 6th in FIP (fielding independent pitching), 1st in K/9, 2nd in HR/9, and 2nd in batting average against.

The thing that seems to be holding the pitching staff back has been the walk. They are currently last in the NL in BB/9, if they are able to cut down on the free passes even if just a little bit this pitching staff could become truly dominate and carry the team.

2) The Defense

Boston Red Sox Marco Scutaro (R) is caught stealing second base by the San Francisco Giants Freddy Sanchez during their MLB interleague baseball game in San Francisco, California June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Bartram (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
We all know about the pitching and how it is top notch but what most of us may not know is that the Giants all among the best fielding teams in all of major league baseball.

According to the UZR numbers as a team they rank second behind only the Padres. Their current number is 24.4 which means as a team their defense has been worth roughly 2.5 wins. The thing that makes this even more amazing is that Bruce Bochy has been trotting out a lineup for most of the season that had many players out of position.

Now with Buster Posey behind the plate instead of at 1st base that allows for a better rated defender like Travis Ishikawa to come in more or even just replacing Bengie Molina would be an improvement as he rated poorly at throwing out runners and stopping passed balls.

This defense in addition to the pitching makes this a potent combination in run prevention which is an important half of winning games.

3) Favorable Schedule

The road ahead for the team is going to be tough but the schedule the rest of the way does break toward the Giants advantage. They have more home games remaining then road games while their division rivals all spend more time on the road. In addition they have a lot of games left to play against the teams directly in front of them in the division race allowing them to take their destiny into their own hands.

A big plus on the schedule for them is that the opponent that they play the most is the last place Diamondbacks. If they can take care of business against the bottom feeder things could fall into place for them.

4) Pablo Sandoval

July 05, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval  reaches for this pitch by Brewers Dave Bush, Sandoval had a hit and a RBI at the plate today..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the San Francisco Giants 1-6..Mike McGinnis / CSM.
The fate of the team likely rests with their rotund third basemen. When Sandoval was hot to start the season off the Giants were hot as well as the Panda slumped the team managed only .500 baseball.

I am optimistic that what is affecting Pablo is something that he can and will work his way out of. His peripheral numbers this season very closely resemble last season so there is no obvious explanation to why he isn't performing up to explanations. I am going to take that as it is just a rough patch and some bad luck. His true skill level is much closer to what he has shown in the past and he will return to that level in the second half.

The return of Pandamonium to the ball park will propel the Giants to the playoffs.

5) Buster Posey

July 01, 2010 - Denver, Colorado, U.S. - MLB Baseball - San Francisco Giants catcher BUSTER POSEY hits an out during a 3-7 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Posey has exploded on the scene and exceeded all expectations. He looks like a young Will Clark and hopefully he can lead the team to the Promised Land like the Thrill did some 20 years ago.

With the departure of Molina, Posey is the guy behind the plate and has stepped into the role beautifully. He is no longer in limbo about his role on the team and has done better then words can explain.

I am not expecting miracles from the kid but he has been a sight for sore eyes and gives the team hope for ending the 7 season playoff drought.

4 comments:

  1. Love the optimism. I agree with you about Pablo, by the way. I think he he will figure it out and we'll see the re-emergence of the Panda we all know and love.

    Reason #6 (my own take) -- a blockbuster trade involving Prince Fielder will propel the G-men into the playoffs. (I can dream, can't I?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was a hard fight to not go all pessimistic about things. Who knows tomorrow is another day and we may come up with 10 reasons why they wont be making the playoffs.

    At this point it is all day to day.

    On reason #6, it could happen. I wouldn't be betting a whole bunch on it but we can all dream.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dontrelle Willis will end up big as a fifth starter. Posey will bring it like he has been, and Pablo will emerge, going through divorce and head isnt into it all the way. GO GIANTS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fun team to watch! Keep going for it,
    Giants!

    ReplyDelete