Week in Review (8/29-9/4)

Results:

2-4 (73-67; 7 GB in NL West)

7-0 L vs. CHI; 5-2 L vs. CHI; 4-0 W vs. CHI; 6-2 W vs ARI; 7-2 L vs. ARI; 4-1 L vs. ARI

Well, this was the make or break week and the Giants broke. As I wrote earlier in the week the Giants actually broke back in May and it’s been remarkable that they lasted in the race as long as they did. Let’s face it, the division is weak, but Arizona is good (performing similarly to the way many thought the Rockies would play this year) and the Giants needed to be healthy to compete. They were not (24 DLs this year and their position player out for over 100 games).

To reiterate, there’s plenty to complain about: Sabean will take his hits, Bochy will too, certainly several players need to be accountable for what’s transpired, but I actually think everyone should get a hat tip for not folding in early June. Sabean did what he had to do to add (or subtract) to the roster (even if a few of the moves were questionable), Bochy managed with a lot of spare parts and duct tape, and some players rose to the occasion, came back, or emerged out of no where. 2011 should be remembered as the loss of Posey, but also for Ryan Vogelsong story, the return of the Panda, and the maturation of Madison Bumgarner (among others).

Someone tweeted this weekend (I think it was Rory Paap) that when Burrell went down (again) on Saturday that it was a metaphor for the season. Agreed. Too little, too late, too hurt. But that’s sports.

Hitter of the Week:

Carlos Beltran is a good player. He was great at one point (scroll about half way down to read Pos’s take on Beltran), and watching him play, even in his current-somewhat-diminished state, reveals how much better he is than anyone else in the Giants current lineup. It’s a shame he got hurt, and it’s a shame that most Giants fans will probably complain about this trade for years even though it was pretty sound. I actually think the Giants should consider going after him this offseason. Burrell and Rowand are gone leaving a potential starting outfield of Belt, Torres, and Schierholtz. Ross could come back but probably for around $6-7 million. Beltran for 2 years at $22-24 (similar to Huff) would not be a bad idea. Let Nate be the fourth outfielder and use Ford or a cheap FA to hold down the 5th spot.

Pitcher of the Week:

Another interesting twitter comment. GiantsNirvana asked his followers in the wake of Saturdays crushing loss who Giants’ fans would rather have for the next 5 years: Timmy or Matty? The majority of folks said Both. Which is, of course, the right answer but I was surprised that it was so close. I expected: Tim, Both, Matt. Matt Cain came up big this week and I think the move that will define the Giants for the next five years is whether they extend him this offseason or not. I think they should. I think it is a no-brainer. But the Giants ate a ton of money last week, and they may eat more with Zito in the not-t00-distant future. Can they keep both Cain and Lincecum long-term? Yes please, but if they decide they have to choose, who do you want? Hmmmmmm….

Looking Ahead:

There are several scenarios where the Giants are still alive. The Twins and Phillies are two recent teams to pull off a six or seven game comeback in the final three weeks. It can be done. These Giants are not going to do it. I hope they do, but I just don’t see it.

Here are the priorities: Crawford, Belt, and Torres play everyday as they represent some of the bigger issues the Giants need to consider this offseason: OF, SS, and leadoff. Let Hector Sanchez do the bulk of the catching. Limit Bumgarner’s pitch count to 100. Shut down Wilson, we need him next year. Give Brett Pill a couple of starts (read the last paragraph of Lefty Malo’s post for a good laugh).

Finally, allow Burrell and Ross to say goodbye to the fans who love them. I hope they both get a nice ovation at some point during the final home stand.

That’s about it. A fascinating season that I am afraid has come to its inevitable end.

(-SB)

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