3 Thoughts on 18 Innings, Sweeps, and Young Players #SFGiants #NLDS

1. There’s nothing that I could say about Game 2 that hasn’t already been said. Also, I think I mentioned before that Brandon Belt hitting home runs would be important:

I think Brandon Belt is a huge key in this series. If he can hit a couple of home runs, life will be a million times better for the Giants.

And it is a million times better. However, as I was watching the final innings unfold, I thought to myself: the Nationals need this more than the Giants. It’s not that I didn’t want the Giants to win or that losing would have been ok, but in terms of crushing loses this hurts the Nationals more than the Giants. Winning Game 1 and hanging around for so long in Game 2 (even without the win) means that the Giants are way in the brains of the Nats.

Plus, I think I also mentioned something about Matt Williams:

Matt Williams is a rookie manager, and only 4 times has a rookie manager won a World Series. The last one to do it, of course, was another ex-Giant, Bob Brenly, whose team won in spite of him, not because of him. Loved Matt Williams as a third baseball in the black and orange, but he might be a liability.

This is the other part of the mind game: Matt Williams has to overcome his mistake, and may try too hard to do that, thus making another mistake.

2. I stand by what I wrote earlier: all Madison Bumgarner starts are MUST wins for the Giants. I know they have three chances to pull this off, but a win today means series over, for one, and the opportunity to rest and line things up for the next series. It also means no Ryan Vogelsong, no more bullpen stress, no more innings for Posey to catch, and no more chances for something dumb and weird to happen. This is a must win game.

3. I’ve been wanting to write the article Alex Pavlovic wrote yesterday for some time. It bothers me that the Giants are always so low in the prospect rankings. The reality is, they are low because their prospects are making an impact in the major leagues. If the Giants continue on in these playoffs it will be because of Peavy, Pence, Hudson, Affeldt, Petit, Casilla, etc. But, it will primarily be because of the contributions of Panik, Posey, Sandoval, Crawford, Belt, Romo, Strickland, Susac, and Bumgarner, among others, who are home-grown players making an impact now (not at some point in the future). There is this perception that continues to linger from the Bonds’ era that the Giants suck at drafting and always go with old guys. They have some of those old guys (more on this later), but 14 of their 25 players currently are from their farm system. Which is beautiful, and bodes well for the future.

-SB

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