Monday, June 6, 2016

Big Homestand


The punchless Giants not only gave up leads but could not mount any sort of comeback threat in St. Louis and lost the final two games of their ten-game road trip to finish 5-5. They get two much-needed off days this week but in the midst of that have to play two very good teams. The Boston Red Sox lead the universe in offense, averaging almost six runs per game. The under-performing Los Angeles Dodgers have won 10 of their last 14 and are the only threat to the Giants in the West as Colorado, Arizona, and San Diego are all playing sub-.500 ball. Even the Milwaukee Brewers can't be taken lightly--the Giants lost two games to the woeful Atlanta Braves, after all.

After a ferocious May the Giants find themselves a little flat to start the month of June. One-third of the season is over and things are starting to shake out in the pennant races. As expected both the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are leaders in the East, but the upstart Miami Marlins are also making some noise. In the Central the Chicago Cubs are still playing .700 ball and leading by a lot, but both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are, as expected, still in the hunt. The usual suspects--LA and SF--are the powers to contend with in the West. That's eight teams with 30 or more wins, the weakest at .526 or an 85-win pace. That's not a dogfight, that's a battle royal. We'll see who holds up over the next one-third of the season.

The Dodgers have crept back to within 3-1/2 games so this weekend's series should have more than the usual intensity. FanGraphs has a "projected standings" feature and they list the Giants right now to win the West with a 91-71 record the Dodgers to finish second at 90-72! We've know all along that the West race was going to be a long, hard grind. Well, this is grind-it-out time. Giants need to gird their loins for the big homestand that starts tomorrow night. Let's hope we see a little more pop from the lineup and a little better execution from the bullpen. Otherwise, we got 'em right where we want 'em.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


6 comments:

Ron said...

There is no dishonor in losing 2 of 3 to St. Louis. What really hurt was the Atlanta series.

Aside from our injuries, the most troubling aspect in our recent performance is the lack of reliability of our bullpen. The raw numbers don't look that bad, but the ineffectiveness in critical situations has revealed itself on various occasions (e.g. Hunter Strickland's one pitch last night). We either need an immediate improvement in performance or an acquisition or two in the next few weeks.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah I felt the same way--should have thumped the Braves! Those were tough losses in St. Louis but that's a tough place to win. Things will be better at home.

Zo said...

The two losses in St. Louis were preventable. Maybe a bit of luck was needed, but bobbling ground balls and giving up home runs is not a sign of good baseball.

Jon Parsons said...

I think we might end up being very happy to play .500 from now through the ASB. Any team would be happy to survive with one starter and two regulars on the shelf. I'm thinking that we may need to make a move pretty soon. Although our youngsters may be up to the challenge, right now it looks like they are over matched.
Sounds like we have interest in Andrew Miller, a flame throwing closer type on the Yankees. That would be exciting but cost MUCH. Trades are so tricky.

Jon Parsons said...

I have to admit to getting a bit sick of the Bochy relief pitcher merry go round. I mean using 4-5 pitchers in the 6th inning alone. The righty - lefty thing is a little crazy at times. Sometimes a hot pitcher is a better idea, isn't it? That is why the games are getting long, so many pitching changes. Strickland threw one pitch, not a bad one, the guy just had his elbow in the way. But we bring in the leftie for the next guy (which didn't work). Lately Strickland has been very strong and I bet he could have handled it. No one knows for sure, but I sure think one or two fewer changes might be a good thing. I guess I probably won't feel this way if our bullpen was a bit more consistent...

nomisnala said...

one of the Braves losses and both of the Cardinals losses were tough losses. Samardjxxxx, is suddent turning into Tomko, cruising along, throwing 95, with a good slider or cutter too, and then boom. Up until the last two starts Samardjxxxx was not falling prey to the sudden loss of stuff or control. but the last two outings are worrisome. I am surprised when one of our pitchers starts losing it, that Posey does not come out and try to calm them down. Anyone notice the Josephs who was involved in the Pence trade, is hitting extremely well for the Phils.