SF Giants: Takeaways from first week of 2021 season
By Nathan Bannerman
The first two series for the SF Giants are in the books and the team looks… alright. We know they aren’t necessarily destined for the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres being in their way. But there’s hope with a wild card spot.
Key Takeaways from the First Week of the Season
In the offseason, many fans had hoped the SF Giants would improve the lineup and bullpen. With a 4-3 record to start the year, we can cautiously see some improvements in both.
Scoring lots of runs will be key for SF Giants success
Yes, it’s obvious when you score lots your team should win. But with the way the NL West and NL, in general, play out, the SF Giants need to find ways to bring each other home. They can’t afford to hope that one-run games will be enough to beat any team.
So far they’ve slugged 11 home runs and 22 RBIs only being shutout once by the Seattle Mariners. However, in the Seattle series, they brought home 13 runs across the plate which is extremely encouraging to see.
With a less-than-stellar bullpen (still), putting up big innings will greatly help not only the starter get his victory, but will drastically change the dynamic of the bullpen.
SF Giants bullpen will still be iffy
Speaking of the bullpen, blowing the first game of the year brought back harsh memories of the 2020 season. Having a five-run lead headlining into the bottom of the eighth inning only to lose in extras isn’t what fans wanted.
But they have gotten better, especially against the Padres. Though it’s early, there’s still some promise in the bullpen and still lots of room to improve.
SF Giants pitcher Aaron Sanchez has solid debut
Back in August, as the 2020 season was winding down or heating up depending on how you look at it, I suggested the SF Giants sign starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez.
As a Canadian, I grew up a Toronto Blue Jays fan as well. During the Blue Jays’ playoff runs in 2015 and 2016, Sanchez was a literal all-star. After the excitement in Canada died down, so did Sanchez’s performance.
Sanchez’s debut turned out to be a no-decision, but with five solid innings, four strikeouts and only one earned run, he could finally be back to his normal self. The SF Giants could certainly use long outings from Sanchez. And they would certainly love it if he can bring his 2016 league-leading 3.00 ERA back.
SF Giants played up to the San Diego Padres
One of the SF Giants’ downfalls last year was playing down to their opponents. Teams they should’ve beat, they lost to. But this first series against the Padres showed they can hang with the best of them.
The question is, can the Giants continue to play at a high level against other teams as the summer rolls on?
So far, we’ve seen some classic SF Giants torture and we’ve seen what they’re capable of. If the defense can be solid and the starting pitchers eat up a lot of innings, San Francisco should be in a good spot to make some noise once September and October come around.
It’s been a promising first week for the SF Giants. Of course, there is still lots of baseball to be played, but we can have some early hope and optimism.