Is This A Playoff Team?
This is the part of the season where every team in contention needs to seriously evaluate themselves. ¬†The Giants have reached a tipping point of sorts. ¬†After a horrific stretch of games where the words “offensive futility” don’t even begin to describe the mess that the everyday lineup has been, the season can go one of two way really. ¬†This team can continue to slowly collapse like the late Roman Empire, or they can go on a run similar to their September back in 2010.
Last year at this point, the Giants were 63-49 (right now they’re 63-52), so both versions of this team were in similar places in the W/L columns. ¬†In terms of potentiality to finish the season strong though, things looked much better last year. ¬†Buster Posey was hitting cleanup every day and had an OPS of .903. ¬†The respective OPS’s of Andres Torres, Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell, and Juan Uribe were .880, .930, .798, and .765. ¬†This year Torres has regressed in all sorts of way, and while he’s still the best option in center right now, he’s nowhere near his 2010 numbers. ¬†As for the rest, Pat Burrell may very well be released despite being second on the team in OPS (.760), Juan Uribe is wallowing in Dodger blue, and Aubrey Huff is cemented into the lineup despite hitting just .244/.298/.367 on the year.
I hate to be all doom and gloom about this season in early August, but right now there are few, if any easy fixes for this offense. ¬†Brandon Belt has been banished to Fresno indefinitely for not having enough veteran grit, Orlando Cabrera is the regular number five hitter, and the guys who are struggling are taking 1-2 pitch at-bats. ¬†And while I hope I’m proven wrong, it’s hard to see this team going far in the postseason if they even make it to that point. ¬†I want to see this team win as much as the next Giants fan, but I’m having trouble mustering optimism for a team managed by someone who insists that Aubrey Huff should be starting when an obviously better replacement is available.
The Giants ran the gauntlet of teams they’ll have to contend with this last week, and were severely outclassed by both the Diamondbacks and Phillies. ¬†Sure, I’ll root for another miracle run through the postseason that ends in confetti and more rings for everyone, but the realist side of me has been dominant these last few weeks. ¬†A lot of things need to happen in the coming weeks if the Giants hope to be a real contending team. ¬†When Pat Burrell comes off the DL, Mark DeRosa, who’s gotten all of zero at-bats since being activated, should be the one to go. ¬†If the front office opts to release Burrell instead, I may just blow a gasket and officially give up on the season. ¬†Until then, I promise to hold out some modicum of hope, however small it may be. ¬†Oh and please beat the Pirates. ¬†Losing to a team on a 10-game losing streak would be what they call “rock bottom.”