Mar 2, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; A detailed view of the logo and text celebrating the San Francisco Giants 2012 championship during batting practice at Scottsdale Stadium before a game against the Chicago Cubs. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

7 Reasons Why San Francisco Giants Will Make the Playoffs


 

 

Jul 26, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA;San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) and manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago Cubs at AT

Jul 26, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA;San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) and manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago Cubs at AT

Giants fans have come to realize, that if we can get to the playoffs, big things can happen.  Don’t babble on to me about the Los Angeles Dodgers being unbeatable this season, because the playoffs elevate the stakes.  Elements of a team that have functioned smoothly all season, come under the glaring spotlight of the Big Stage and are frequently not up to the pressure of the playoffs.  The Dodgers stumbled against the St. Louis Cardinals last fall, the same team that the Giants came back against the previous year, down three games to one.  Some teams have the mental toughness to take them to the top and other teams lack this component.  I do believe that the San Francisco Giants have this commodity and that they will make the playoffs for the following seven reasons.

 

First, the Giants have excellent starting pitching, five All-Stars to be precise.  We have watched this spring as all five collectively came rocketing out the starting gate and then, except for Madison Bumgarner, how each has shown that he is human.  As such, they experience the highs and lows that all professional athletes endure.  The fact that last season produced some inconsistencies, does not mean that our very talented staff is deteriorating.  It just means that we have seen a preponderance of lows, and can therefore, reasonably expect that we will see the corresponding highs of a successful pitching staff.  The Giants also benefit from having the steady, knowledgeable hand of Bruce Bochy at the helm.

 

Second, the Giants have experience; they are a group of veteran ballplayers who will not abandon their hustle and their belief in one another.  They have achieved baseball’s ultimate success, as champions in both 2010 and 2012, and that is not something any other team can say except the St. Louis Cardinals (2011) and the Boston Red Sox (2013).  Having survived one of their most devastating setbacks in 2011, when Buster Posey was shelved, the Giants have proven that they are resilient.  Now Buster is in full swing, with a red-hot Hector Sanchez to provide backup so that first base becomes an option to keep Buster’s bat in the lineup.

 

Angel Pagan in his first outfield bump since his return to AT&T on 9/6/13. Photo by Denise Walos

Angel Pagan in his first outfield bump since his return to AT&T on 9/6/13. Photo by Denise Walos

Third, the Giants have chemistry.  This is a term that has repeatedly come up over the course of the past four seasons.  It just means that when one player struggles to perform at peak level, the others try to pick him up.  When one pitcher cannot maintain the highest of standards, the others try to compensate.  If someone commits an error, the rest strive to overcome that error, and take away the next batter’s chances of getting on base, because that’s what teammates do.  Hitters try to emulate each other’s success, because that’s what makes an offense a formidable weapon.  The Giants love to play the game, and they demonstrate that repeatedly, especially when it involves coming from behind to compete in the late innings.

 

Fourth, the Giants have the element of the twelfth man, their loyal fans.  AT&T Park has sold out a Major League-best 246 consecutive times. I do not think it is hyperbole to say that AT&T Park, jammed to the rafters for so many consecutive games, is a significant reason for the aforementioned, late-inning success.

 

Apr 20, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) leaves the game during the seventh inning while fans applaud his effort against the San Diego Padres at AT

Apr 20, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) leaves the game during the seventh inning while fans applaud his effort against the San Diego Padres at AT

Fifth, the Giants have leadership.  Bruce Bochy is a manager who bridges the gap between management and players very effectively.  He has the capacity to win it all and has done so twice.  He knows how to extract the most out of his bullpen, his experience behind the plate as a catcher coming into play.  He works well with Brian Sabean, who has stocked the team with players who can deal with the expansive boundaries of AT&T Park.  Sabean has provided speedy outfielders who cover a lot of territory, and pitchers who know that it takes a lot to put one over the wall.  And Sabean has proven that he knows how to supplement the team just before the trade deadline, as the acquisition of Mr. Hustle himself, Hunter Pence, demonstrated.

 

Sixth, the Giants have defensive depth.  They have to in order to be able to competently contend with the unique features of AT&T Park.  Though final cuts have not yet occurred, conventional wisdom says that Juan Perez will stick in the outfield, and with Tony Abreu’s departure, Ehire Adrianza will win out in the infield.  With Gregor Blanco as the fourth outfielder and Joaquin Arias in the infield, the Giants have excellent defensive backups.  In the past Arias has filled in for Pablo Sandoval, with no letup in defense, while handling the bat more than adequately. True, the Giants acquired Mike Morse primarily for offensive purposes, but having Blanco and Perez to replace him in late innings, and having Pence and Angel Pagan also in the outfield, bodes well for our defense.

 

October 27, 2010; San Francisco, CA, USA; General view of AT

October 27, 2010; San Francisco, CA, USA; General view of AT

I believe that the Giants must take advantage of the facility in which they play to optimize their selection of players.  To pursue free agent power hitters for AT&T Park is to climb aboard baseball’s hamster wheel.  They say the definition of insanity is to perform the same actions repeatedly, always expecting different results.  Sabean knows this and therefore tailors his team to the park’s advantage.  This means instead of emphasizing scoring runs, Sabean emphasizes preventing runs.  It amounts to the same thing.

 

Seventh, and arguably the most important, is Buster.  All I have to do is refer to 2011, for Giants fans to know what I’m sayin’/talkin’ about.  Buster is the Man-he runs the show.  He keeps all that scouting information in his head, and accesses it when needed.  He orchestrates the pitchers’ artillery to the max to neutralize the opponents’ firepower.  With Buster Posey we have the heart and soul of our team, indomitable and ready to lead us once again into the playoffs, where big things happen.

 

Go ahead and tell me I’m wrong; just don’t tell the Giants.  They’ll have none of it.  They have the talent, experience and camaraderie to complete the journey to the top.  Go ahead and win the division, Dodgers; after all, you won the title last year and what good did it do?  No, the Giants do not have to win the division-they just need to get into the playoffs, where they’ll have Buster Posey, their heart and soul, to take care of business.

July 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) leaps to catch the ball to start a double play during the seventh inning at AT

July 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) leaps to catch the ball to start a double play during the seventh inning at AT


Tags: Buster Posey San Francisco Giants

  • SFEvl1

    How dare you use “12th Man” Too soon….too soon

    • Mark ONeill

      Tenth man is the more appropriate term. I stand corrected.

  • James Jones

    OK,
    I’ll bite on this one.

    First, please tell me how a baseball team can have a “12th Man” there
    are nine players on the field at any given time in a baseball game. 10th Man,
    maybe, but “12th”?

    Second, talking about the Dodgers in your opening paragraph, as if they’re
    afterthoughts because they failed to overcome the Cardinals in the NLCS last
    season is laughable at best. They faced off against St. Louis without Matt Kemp
    and after having his rib fractured by Joe Kelly in game 1 of the series, they
    lost the hottest hitter in baseball at the time in Hanley Ramirez. Yes he
    continued to play but was a shell of his former self the rest of the CS.

    “They have achieved baseball’s ultimate success, as champions in both 2010
    and 2012, and that is not something any other team can say except the St. Louis
    Cardinals (2011) and the Boston Red Sox (2013).”

    Not sure where you were going here… no other team can say they
    have “achieved baseball’s ultimate success, except for St. Louis and
    Boston”? I guess we’ve just thrown out every World Series Champion prior
    to 2010, makes sense.

    1. Excellent pitching:
    Sure, the Giants have a good rotation. There should be no question about that. However, the Dodgers boast a better one.

    2013 Stats Giants Pitching

    Bumgarner:
    13-9 2.77 ERA

    Cain:
    8-7 4.00 ERA

    Hudson:
    8-7 3.97 ERA

    Lincecum:
    10-14 4.37 ERA

    Vogelsong:
    4-6 5.73 ERA

    2013 Stats Dodgers Pitching

    Kershaw:
    16-9 1.83 ERA

    Greinke:
    15-4 2.63 ERA

    Ryu:
    14-8 3.00 ERA

    Haren: 1
    0-14 4.67 ERA

    Beckett:
    DL last season

    Giants starting rotation cannot stack up to what the Dodgers
    will bring this season. Add to that a much better bullpen and this argument is
    a wrap.

    2. Experience:
    Yes the Giants have championship
    experience, however the Dodgers have some as well. Sure, not with the current
    team that is in place but many of those players have played in baseballs
    ultimate stage and emerged victorious. That coupled with their postseason run
    in 2013, could spell great things for Los Angeles.

    3. Chemistry:
    This team has been together for the
    better part of the last three seasons, sans Puig who came in June last season.
    Chemistry is an important part of any championship team and should not be
    disregarded. This comes on many different levels though and the Dodgers showed
    last season in going 42-8 over a 50-game span that they too can claim this
    attribute.

    4. Attendance:
    Sellouts are great and LA definitely has it over the Giants in this area.

    Los Angeles: 3.7 million in 2013 attendance

    San Francisco: 3.3 million in 2013 attendance

    5. Leadership:
    Bochy is a good manager and Mattingly is as well. The Giants though might have a slight edge in this
    category. The players play the games though and we’ll see how that ends in
    October.

    6. Defensive Depth:
    Bench depth and defense are HUGE factors in any teams season. A better pitching staff goes a long way to helping negate any shortcomings in this area though. Even with thast the Dodgers defense is not any worse than that of the Giants.

    7. Buster Posey:
    Here we cite on player as a reasonwhy the Giants will make the postseason in 2014. Ok, one player it is. Here wecan take any number of men. Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig. The best part for Los Angeles though is that they don’t need one of these players to bethe catalyst for an October run. Crawford, Ethier, Uribe, A-Gone, et all will all have a hand in not only winning the West this season but also making a trip to the World Series.

    Do the Giants have a chance to win the Wildcard this season? Sure they do. There are a great many teams who can say this however and I’d be willing to bet that another club like Pittsburgh, Arizona, or even St. Louis could be there instead of the Giants.

    Just my opinions…

    • Mark ONeill

      Zounds! I already ate it on the “12th Man.” Mea culpa, mea culpa. Your responses are well-thought out, and I very much appreciate your input. I have conceded the fact that the Dodgers are-on paper-more apt to take the division. Just give the Giants a shot at the Wild Card is the central point of my piece. Thanks again for the thorough response.

      • James Jones

        Thanks for your response as well Mark. I for one hope the that both the Dodgers and Giants make the playoffs… meeting up for the NLCS if it was possible based on seeding, would be epic!!!

        • Mark ONeill

          Actually, more likely to occur this season than any in recent memory. If so, you and I will have to return to this post and give an accounting of our stewardship. Kershaw against Bumgarner. The winning run (singular) scores on an error. National League Baseball at its finest.

  • Nomisnala

    How do you go from being a Dodger fan to being a giants fan?

    • Mark ONeill

      Moved up to the Bay Area in ’74 and couldn’t listen to the Dodgers on the radio, so I started listening to the Giants, because I love listening to baseball on the radio. The rest is history. Thanks for stopping by!