Photo courtesy of sfgiants.com & Chris Haft / MLB.com

Live by the streak-die by it: What’s next, San Francisco Giants?

What’s wrong with the San Francisco Giants and more importantly, can it be fixed?  After going 31-11 over a 42-game span, they have now dropped nine out of ten.  But if you look at the twelve games before that, they won ten of those dozen.  The Giants are on a roller coaster and their fans don’t have any choice.  But it’s not a good way to do business in the National League and I’ll tell you why.

A team that lives by the streak is inevitably going to die by the streak.  Says so in the manual, the one that’s not written down.  San Francisco was like a kid on a new bike for six weeks there, trying out all sorts of new tricks, and playing with all the dials and gadgets.  They won a heap of ball games.  And then they got going too fast, like all kids invariably do, and they crashed and burned.  It was bound to happen.

It’s what they do now that makes all the difference in the season.  Roll over and die and all folks will say is, “What did you expect?  The Dodgers had it in the bank all the way.”  However, if having existed in a drunken stupor down some alley for the past ten days, has any impact whatsoever, we will see the Orange and Black come back.

They don’t need to win ten in a row.  What they will need to do, if they are going to contend with the Los Angeles (No-No) Dodgers, is win two of their next three games, and then do it again.  It’s a winning formula and leads to a string of series victories, like the one we had going last month.

The Giants started out quickly in 2013 also, before a series of injuries dismantled their progress.  This year they were able to keep the momentum going, despite losing their number one home run hitter, Brandon Belt.  But not forever, as the past ten days have demonstrated. Losing Angel Pagan also will do the trick.

Angel Pagan of the San Francisco Giants is greeted by teammates.

May 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) is greeted in the dugout after scoring on a hit by Pablo Sandoval.

What the Giants needed to do this weekend in Arizona, is simply take two out of three.  That’s still possible.   Tim Lincecum finally figured out a way to keep Paul Goldschmidt in the park, but it wasn’t good enough.

Tim Lincecum kept Goldschmidt in the park, but it wasn’t enough.
Maybe Ryan Vogelsong has made another adjustment in his mechanics, and is set for a solid outing on Saturday.

Whatever it takes, even if it continues to be Gregor Blanco and Ehire Adrianza who fuel the fire off the bench, the Giants have to kick-start the engine.  The stating pitching has to regain the synch it had earlier, in order to allow the bullpen to get back on its feet.  After all, the bullpen took one heck of a fall.

But the components are still in place, the chemistry is still brewing in the pot, and the Giants are now clearly aware that, though they may have the components for the best team in the majors, they must continue to apply the basics in every element of the game, if they are to succeed.

Solid pitching must have solid defense, and run-production must have two-out hits, and hits with runners in scoring position, if the Giants are to successfully contend against the Dodgers.  And they need to get their heads back in the game and quit making mental mistakes.  Right now, San Francisco is ahead in the season series with LA, 7-3.  That’s a good start.

That the Dodgers are gaining ground is also not surprising when you consider the caliber of their starting pitching alone.  The question is, will  the Giants be able to regroup in order to reestablish their dominance, or was it all just a pipe dream?

I’m assuming the answer is yes, but then again, it would depend on which part of the question I am addressing, wouldn’t it?  

Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants

Jun 4, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (right) talks to pitching coach Dave Righetti (right) during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Giants defeated the Reds 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports


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