Get out your snake bite kits Giants fans—the boys are back in town and they’re looking for a win.
The team’s recent road trip was abysmal. They had a pretty good road record until this past week, and the only explanation I can think of is this: They’re snakebit. No one was immune to the poison–except Buster Posey–and its spreading through the Giants clubhouse like the black plague.
The solution? Probably time. I know this is by no means good news, but the reality is that the injury-laden Giants need to get some of their key players off the DL and back on the field. Once that happens, it will change the outlook of the entire team.
I know we’re only missing a few key guys, but the absence of these individuals is having a disquieting effect on the others. Remember what Yogi Berra said? “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.”
Let’s take Madison Bumgarner for example. He’s our ace, he’s given some legendary performances, sometimes throwing the entire team on his back and running through fire to win a game. Will anyone ever forget Game 7, when those bullpen gates opened and he strode up to the mound like he owned Kaufmann Stadium? And you know what? That night he did.
But this past week in Washington, he looked more like Jonathan Sanchez in his waning days. This is not the MadBum we’ve come to know and love. There is no way to explain his start other than to say: “It happens to the best of us.” It happened, but he’s still the team’s best.
What about Buster? He really isn’t snakebit—his batting average has improved over the last month as he plays more at first base. Andrew Susac is a great backup, but he’s no Buster Posey. Not yet. The issue with Buster is this: Where do we need him more, behind the dish or at the dish? Tough decision.
I could go through the entire roster, pointing out strengths and weaknesses, but that would be an exercise in futility. The main problem isn’t with the guys who are playing. Like I said before, the problem is with the guys who aren’t.
Like Nori Aoki. The spark plug to the Giants engine. If your spark plug isn’t firing, your engine won’t start. And let’s face it: Aoki is the best leadoff man the Giants have seen in a long time.
Or how about Hunter Pence? The Reverend also revs up the engine that gets the Giants going. Having both Hunter and Nori off the field has considerably stalled the Giants. The sooner these two get back in the lineup, the sooner we can get the team winning on the road again.
I know I’ve mixed a couple of metaphors, between snake bites and broken down cars, but the solution is clear: Get our spark plug back and rev up our engine. We’ve got an October to get to.