The Giants stand atop the baseball world at 35-19 after a thrilling victory in St. Louis. Here's the tally for the first third of the season:
First inning, 10-8,
Second inning, 13-5,
Third inning, 12-6.
The Giants .648 percentage projects to 105 wins! Foolish thought, I know, but I couldn't help myself. My goodness, the ballclub is playing well. Michael Morse delivered another huge game this evening--his opposite field double off flame-throwing Trevor Rosenthal in the 8th was equally as impressive as his moon shot in the 2nd off starter Jamie Garcia. The Giants put up six and needed them all as Ryan Vogelsong allowed four and closer Sergio Romo allowed another. I like how the team scored with both big flies and lowly singles and tossed in a stolen base as well. Lots of arrows in the quiver, I say! Vogie had a couple of rocky stretches but still recorded 19 outs against a tough lineup and kept the game close. Strong relief from Javier Lopez and the unstoppable force that is Jean Machi kept the lid on until the 9th. Romo scared the crap out of everyone with an ugly, 25-pitch torture-fest but managed to nail down the save. I have not "worried" about a single Giants player so far this season. I knew Panda would come out of his funk. He now has an RBI in nine straight games. I know Buster will bust loose. Matt Cain will be Matt Cain again. Slumps, bad luck, injuries, they all happen to everyone. But I will admit to some worry about Sergio--that was a dangerous tightrope act he put on tonight.
The Giants rank 14th among 30 teams with a .313 wOBA and 9th with a 100 wRC+ (FanGraphs). They rank 13th with a .716 OPS but 8th with a 105 OPS+ (B-R). The Giants are 6th in both FIP (3.48) and ERA+ (110), and 3rd in ERA (3.03). The team has scored 232 runs and allowed 184--that run difference (+48) is the best in the NL and second only to Oakland's ridiculous +100.
The first third of the 2014 season belongs to San Francisco. They have shown they can pitch, hit, field, and run. They've survived some crucial injuries and some key players have yet to deliver as expected. If they can stay healthy and get some guys back on track (like Cain) they could sustain their excellent play into the summer. It's weird to have the team be so hot early in the year. In 2012 their best months were June, August and September, and in 2010 they were April, July and September. This is a different club, though, and there are many paths to the Promised Land. Let's hope the lads can find theirs.
Three more games with the defending NL champs. Madison Bumgarner tomorrow.