Last post I covered the pessimistic and optimistic views of the Giants situation entering the second half. Well…
It’s like every single doubt we had about the Giants coming into this season came to fruition over the last 10 days.
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) July 24, 2016
It’s been a horrible stretch for the Giants since the All-Star Break ended. They were swept by the Padres last weekend. The same Padres they had beaten in all nine previous contests this year. They followed that up with a 1-4 east coast swing against the Yankees and Red Sox.
There are many culprits right now: the starters haven’t been great, the offense has been terrible, and the bullpen and defense have had a few untimely meltdowns.
It seems as if the lack of depth, with all the injuries that have piled up, has finally caught up to them.
The covering grace of that lack of depth had been the middle of the order combo of Belt and Posey and Crawford, but that tandem has struggled mightily out of the second half gate (Belt especially).
The other grace has been the starting pitching, but even that has hit the skids.
To top it all off, it looks like the Cubs just got even more scary.
The Giants return home, get out of the heat, and have soft-landing with a 3 game series against terrible Cincinnati. But then it gets more serious with four games against the Nationals this weekend.
Hitter of the Weak:
All hail Mac Williamson who continues to make a case for himself both as a legitimate starter when Hunter Pence returns, and as a future fixture in the Giants’ outfield. His two home runs and 6 rbis accounted for the majority of the offensive output over the last 8 games.
Pitcher(s) of the Weak:
Here’s the crazy thing: despite all the angst about the bullpen, despite all the rumors the Giants are involved in, despite all the cries for heads, 6 of the top 7 performances this week came from the bullpen (Cueto was the only starter to sneak in there). Casilla had a huge outing in the lone win, Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland are quietly back in good grooves, Derek Law has been a revelation (my new top candidate for closer duties), and Sergio Romo has been great since his return.
By far the biggest issue right now, in my opinion, is that the Giants are not getting out in front in games. They’ve been behind almost every game post-break and that’s just not how they are built to play.
Looking Ahead: We already previewed the schedule above. The Giants need to enjoy and take advantage of this home stand, because it’s right back out to the humid east coast to start August. The Giants will also be playing a lot of contending teams over the final two months, so this series against the Reds is must win/sweep scenario.
There is a lot of hand wringing about the Cubs acquiring Aroldis Chapman. While he certainly makes them even more formidable, in some ways I find this kind of exciting for the Giants. Every even year run they’ve had to take down the “impossible,” whether that’s been the 2010 Phillies, the 2012 Cardinals, or the 2014 Nationals/Royals. They’ve never been favored to win a series in any of those post-seasons, so why not add another behemoth to that list?
First things first though, and that’s righting the suddenly off kilter ship.