If there’s one word that can be used to describe the San Francisco Giants season thus far, it’s frustration. The club has struggled to establish consistency, lacking any sort of championship identity.
The once vaunted pitching rotation is average at best, limping by from start to start. Matt Cain has been maddeningly unpredictable, seemingly incapable of stringing together back-to-back quality starts. Tim Lincecum has continued to struggle with his command, barely pitching better than his miserable 2012 campaign. Ryan Vogelsong is out after breaking his throwing hand. Barry Zito has embodied the staff’s inconsistent play; his 1.94 home ERA is 9th best in the league, however, Zito’s bloated road ERA has put the overall number at a middling 4.79. The one saving grace has been the performance of Chad Gaudin filling in for Vogelsong. The veteran has given the team six innings of two run ball in both of his spot starts, earning the win each time.
The offense has performed well with Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Marco Scutaro, and Brandon Crawford all playing at high levels. Platoon players Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres have also been integral to the Giants success, compiling a number of key late inning hits throughout the season. The team’s record currently sits at 34-31, good for 2nd in the division and 2.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If the clubhouse hopes to gain momentum, the time is now. It’s true that the season is young, but there’s no reason for the Giants to want to play catch-up any longer. This team has the ability to run away with the division, especially with the dismal play of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants have to take advantage of the next three series, closing June out in convincing fashion.
The next three series are against the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Colorado Rockies. The Marlins are one of the worst teams in all of baseball and shouldn’t pose any sort of threat to the Giants. The four game series begins on Thursday, June 20; anything short of three wins will be seen as a disappointment. The Giants have gone 5-1 against the Dodgers this season, and hope to continue the success after the Marlins series.
The Rockies series could go either way, especially with the Giants struggles in Colorado this season. Each team has found success at home this year with the Giants holding a slim lead in the overall series 6-4.
No team wants to chase its division leader, let alone the reigning World Series Champions. The Giants need a winning streak as soon as possible; otherwise the club runs the risk of faltering even further.