Ten Reasons Not to Panik
By Ashley Varela
Now, I was toying with the idea of just typing “There are 159 games left in the season” ten times, because that’s how ridiculous a post like this is. Apparently, due to these complaints on Twitter, it will take a little more persuasion for some fans to believe that the Giants are not going to sink to the bottom of the NL West after this unfortunate first series.
Of course, should your faith plummet in the 2010 World Series Champs, here are a few reminders to keep you from hitting rock bottom by the end of the week.
1. An 0-3 record means nothing.
You know who else is 0-3 right now? The New York Yankees. If the teams who are currently hogging first place end up clinching their divisions, we will see a postseason featuring the Mariners, Orioles, and Mets. Doesn’t seem too likely, does it?
2. The Giants can hit.
Did they have trouble hitting in clutch situations? Perhaps. Does Aubrey Huff lack even a shred of patience at the plate? Yes. Still, 23 hits and 14 runs in three games is not a fluke, and it’s certainly not anything to gripe about.
3. The Giants can pitch.
Oh sure, six home runs in three games look bad on a resume, but the Giants have seen worse. For instance, Bumgarner’s 8-run inning against the Twins last June. Or, Lincecum’s 0-4 record against Clayton Kershaw. Or, Cain’s three consecutive dropped games in August. All worse losses than those felt this weekend, and at more crucial points during the season. If there are any kinks in this pitching staff, now is the perfect time to work through them.
4. The Giants’ pitchers can hit.
Well, at least they can get on base. After giving up two home runs in his first two innings, Lincecum took a walk from Ian Kennedy. Bumgarner whipped a single off Daniel Hudson‘s 93 MPH fastball. Cain… okay, Cain didn’t do anything with his three at-bats, but he’s a pitcher. What did you expect?
5. Sending Brandon Belt to Fresno is not the answer.
It’s tempting to point at early mistakes and use them as a case for a quick return to Triple-A. However, I can’t imagine the head games that go on for a player who’s been sent up and down the system as many times as Belt, especially with a single year (if that) of major league experience. Give him time to readjust to the big leagues, and he’ll do just fine. Trust me.
6. Buster Posey is back.
I know, his foot didn’t touch the plate, and Bryan Shaw struck him out with the tying run on second, but he’s back. He’s healthy. He hit a home run yesterday. Could you ask for more?
7. Aubrey Huff is in the best shape of his life.
8. Brett Pill can hit or something, maybe.
He took Daniel Hudson‘s 83 MPH changeup deep to left field. He scored Brandon Belt and brought the Giants within a run of tying the Dbacks. He’s clutch. He took a walk in his next at-bat. He has this whole major league thing figured out!
9. We still have Zito.
On the other hand, we still have Zito. This may as well be a reason to panic.
10. There are 159 games left in the season.
Because really, that’s the only reason you need.
Help me out, Giants fans. Where do you see this season going?