Happy Cinco de Mayo, San Francisco Giants fans!
The boys are on a tear right now winning 9 of their last 10 games (a current MLB best), including a 5 game winning streak and first sweep in Atlanta since 1988. They’re second in MLB in home runs with 41, behind only Colorado with 44, and let’s be real, the Rockies have an advantage playing every night in Coors Field.
In pitching, they are 2nd in the majors with a 2.99 ERA as a whole, just behind Atlanta. And get this, they’re 2nd in the majors in fewest walks issues, having just 1 more than Detroit. We’re also 1st in MLB in “caught stealing” with 11 outs.
The new USA Today Power Rankings are out today and the Giants have moved up two spots from 6th to 4th. Sweeping Atlanta at Turner Field will get you noticed a bit more.
An offseason acquisition, Tim Hudson, has led the way for the Giants thus far. Leading the rotation, the veteran starter has gotten off to a scorching start.
Boasting a 2.17 ERA, a 0.74 WHIP and a winning record of 4-1, Hudson truly has been the key man to the Giants division leading April. Most impressively, Hudson has struck out 31 batters, whilst walking only two, collating for a 18% strikeout percentage compared to a stunning 1.2% walk percentage. Averaging 6.11 strikeouts per nine innings against 0.39 walks per nine innings, Hudson has dominated in his first month back in the bay. Amid a struggling rotation, Hudson has been head and shoulders above the rest.
Other candidates: Mike Morse, the other new face in the Giants clubhouse has led the way offensively with eight home runs and 22 runs batted in.
David Schoenfield of ESPN did a piece on ways the Giants can still improve and the surprise they’ve been this season. But what I enjoyed most was the recognition of one “unsung hero” of the Giants – Brandon Crawford.
Crawford is sort of the unsung glue to the Giants. He’s a plus defender — you saw him at his best in the 2012 postseason when he made several spectacular plays — with just enough pop at the plate to go beyond automatic out status. He hit .248/.311/.363 last season, but in this new era of impaired offense that made him nearly a league average hitter once you adjust for AT&T Park.
In 2014, he’s off to a .264/.361/.473 start, including a .438 average against left-handers in 39 plate appearances with seven of his 11 extra-base hits coming against southpaws. He hit just .199 against lefties in 2013, so if real improvement is happening here, Crawford is going to be better than the 2.1 WAR he provided last year.
In a surprising move, Matt Cain was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday. He missed his last start after cutting his finger making a sandwich last week. Up until yesterday, every indication was that he was set to make his start in Pittsburgh. Personally, I think there may be more wrong than his finger, but I suppose time will tell. His DL was retro back to April 24th, when he hurt his finger, so he’ll likely be back in time for his next start if indeed the issue is just his finger.
The Giants got “Happy” last night, and boy is it amazing!