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SF Giants: Is the rotation strong enough for a postseason run?

Nick San Miguel
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 04: Kevin Gausman #34 of the SF Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 04, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 04: Kevin Gausman #34 of the SF Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 04, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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SF Giants
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – AUGUST 02: Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 02, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The SF Giants are in an excellent position to win the NL West with under two months left in the season. While the team’s lineup and bench appear to be incredibly strong, the rotation’s recent struggles may be a cause for concern.

SF Giants: Is the rotation strong enough for a postseason run?

For most of the 2021 season, the rotation has been a key part of the team’s success. Kevin Gausman was lights out during the first half of the season and Anthony DeSclafani was ridiculously good against every team except for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto have been less consistent, but even they have had some starts where they have looked like younger versions of themselves.

However, since the All-Star Break, the rotation has struggled. Gausman’s splitter was ineffective for several starts and caused him to struggle. DeSclafani had some solid starts right after the All-Star Break, but his last two have been terrible as he has given up four earned runs in each and failed to complete the fifth inning in either start.

DeSclafani was also just placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder fatigue. Perhaps this stint on the IL will recharge his batteries for the rest of the season, but no matter what, his recent struggles are concerning.

Yet, there is still cause for hope with the Giants rotation. Gausman’s most recent start against the Diamondbacks looked more like first-half Gausman as he went six innings and only gave up one run while striking out eight. Most importantly, his splitter also looked to have regained its effectiveness as he was able to rely on it for much of the game.

Then there is also Logan Webb. Since coming off the IL in July, the Giants have won every single one of Webb’s starts. He has given up two earned runs or fewer and has built up his arm strength with each start. He is starting to look like the Logan Webb we expected to see back in Spring Training.

There are bound to be parts of a season in which a rotation struggles. Thankfully, as of late the SF Giants bats have bailed out poor starts from the pitchers. But we know that bats can also go cold, even when you have a lineup as deep as the Giants do.

When that does happen, the Giants will need their rotation to dig deep and keep them in a lot of close games down the stretch.

If the Giants do make it to the postseason, thankfully they have a fairly dependable bullpen they can lean on if a starter exits early. This rotation is not as strong as the Giants had in 2010 or 2012, and it does not seem like they’re going to have anyone capable of being Bumgarner-like circa 2014.

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They do not need a lights-out rotation coming down the stretch though. They need a rotation that can keep them in games and give the offense a chance to win. Despite the recent struggles, I believe the SF Giants have a rotation that is more than capable of that.

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