The San Francisco Giants sit at 17-11 and are in first place in the NL West by a half game over the Los Angeles Dodgers after baseball’s first month. Though it’s hard to be excited about the first 28 games as there’s still 134 left, there’s been some good story lines throughout the first month of the season: In particular Tim Hudson and Michael Morse.
Hudson has been the Ace of the Giants staff through his first six starts with his new team. He’s been spectacular with a 4-1 record, a 2.17 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and a video-game like 31/2 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s also on pace for 260 innings, having gone at least 7 innings in his first 6 starts as well. Hudson has led a Giants staff that has experienced inconsistencies from all the other four members in the rotation.
Madison Bumgarner has struggled. Matt Cain has had some good starts, but ultimately has been underwhelming considering his contract. Tim Lincecum has better control, but is more hittable now and is still an adventure. Ryan Vogelsong is that guy that could be Barry Zito of last year or be dominate like his last start illustrated. Through all this Hudson has emerged as the Giants Ace and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. He won’t keep up his current numbers, but he’s been well worth the investment.
The Giants most consistent hitter through the first month of the season has been Michael Morse. Angel Pagan is a close second; however Morse has been more important, because of his power, average and run producing ability that he brings to the table. Morse is currently batting 302 with 6 homeruns and 20 RBI’s. Those numbers project out to 35 homers and 116 RBI’S if he keeps it up. It’s safe to assume that Morse is on a great pace regardless if he keeps it up or not. He also has a 932 OPS and has played in all 28 games this year, which is a major plus for the Giants. In addition he’s yet to make any defensive blunders to cost the Giants.
Morse’s bat has been needed considering Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval’s struggles during the season’s first month. Pence and Posey are coming on now, but Sandoval is still at an awful 170. Brandon Belt got off to a great start, but he’s now struggling, so Morse has been the one consistent power hitter in the Giants lineup. He’s really the guy doing most of the run producing and keeping the Giants in ballgames.
Morse and Hudson both look like more of General Manager Brian Sabean’s genius moves that once again could catapult them into the playoffs and beyond. Morse is on a one-year deal and Hudson is on a two-year deal. Considering how both guys have looked so far, it’s easy to say that the Giants are in good hands with these two performing at high levels.
In order to be a competitive team you need different guys to perform each game and each month. So far Morse is the offensive MVP and Hudson is the staff’s ace. That could very well change in May and someone else might emerge for both pitching and hitting. The Giants are in a very solid position considering they are 17-11 and haven’t nearly reached their peak as far as how good they can be.
Again it’s hard to judge and get excited over anything that happens in the first month of a baseball season. At the same time it’s good to see the Giants two big free agent acquisitions performing so well. Their performances thus far reflect well on the Giants as an organization and also the Giant philosophy of a different hero everyday.