Aug 8, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) singles against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants were swept by the Kansas City Royals last weekend and lost yet another series to a team with a winning record. We all thought Angel Pagan was the answer and the Giants are 0-4 since his return. Brandon Crawford is going through a spell of offensive and defensive issues and Brandon Belt back on the 7-day concussion disabled list doesn’t help either.
These issues aside, the team needs Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval to keep coming through in key situations if they expect to make the playoffs and go anywhere. When everything was going right in the first 2 months of the season, the keys were home runs and clutch hitting. Everyone wants to complain about the issues at second base and the bottom of our lineup, but the real issues are the big bats getting paid the big money.
In Sunday’s game, we saw two separate situations where the bottom of the line up set the table and did their job to keep the line moving for Pagan, Pence, Posey and Sandoval. Andrew Susac had 3 RBIs alone! And both times, we saw the rally end with the heart of the order. In the 7th inning Posey hit a ground ball on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning and Sandoval hit a fly ball to end the game in the 9th with the bases loaded.
“If you’re not running, and you’re not hitting for power and you’re not getting clutch hits … well, that pretty much explains the past two months, doesn’t it?” – Alex Pavlovic
I was shocked to read in the Postgame Notes from Alex Pavolvic that the Giants only stole 7 bases in the month of July. The Royals stole 7 bases in yesterday’s game alone. The running game isn’t my biggest concern with this team right now but when things are already bad, this stat makes me feel a little worse about the team.
Now I won’t deny that Pence, Posey and Sandoval have all been hitting well since the All Star break but they need to hit well together. The Giants are built around those 3 guys right now and the bottom line is they need to produce with runners in scoring position. We need to get back to those clutch 2-out hits. This team doesn’t stand a chance otherwise.
Stop focusing on second base. Chase Utley isn’t coming to save us. Joe Panik has done a nice job for this team and has the ability to become a consistent hitter. When Brandon Hicks was our second basemen, we were still winning games. Sure, Hicks would run into one every so often but he still struck out a lot and still hit below .200. We are not losing games because we don’t have a better second baseman. Let it go already.
With 44 games left we still have more than a reasonable chance to at least make it in as a wild card, but unless the San Francisco Giants can fix their home woes, we better hope for the second wild card spot so we can play that one game on the road. From here on out, the Giants need to win some series. If they don’t start winning 2 out of every 3 games, we are probably not going to be watching them play in October.