Giant Hopes for 2017

This is the time of year when baseball experts, both professional and amateur, make predictions about teams and players, but my thoughts are turning to hopes, not predictions. Matt Cain has been a Giants for a very long time, and as I look forward to his 2017 campaign, I find myself hoping more than expecting. That’s what I told one or two of my Giants-fan friends about Tim Lincecum in 2015, “Hoping more than expecting.” Here, I will run down a few of my other hopes.

Matt Cain

I hope he is still on the team in September. I’m not asking the baseball gods for Cy Young award contention. I just want to see him contribute for one more playoff run. Ten wins and an earned-run-average under 4.3 would tell me that the baseball gods heard. I don’t expect Madison Bumgarner-like numbers. Which brings us to:

Madison Bumgarner

I would like to see Paul Bunyan win 20 games for the Giants. I have been praying for this for a couple of years now. The Giants have not had a 20-game winner since Billy Swift and John Burkett in 1993. The time has come. A little bit of run support down the stretch in the last year or two and he might have broken through already. Could this be the year? Oh, I hope so. Throw in 8 homers and call it a season.

Buster Posey

By show of hands, how many other Giants fans are harboring Hall-of-Fame contender hopes? Me too. To keep that band-wagon rolling, I don’t think I need to see another National League Most-Valuable -Player, but I would really enjoy a .310 batting average, 20 homers, and some clutch RBI’s. On the defensive side, maybe he could throw down a few of the right signs for a Cy Young contender or two.

Brandon Crawford

This one is simple: an All-Star appearance is all I am asking for, and with the defense he plays, I don’t think I am asking for a lot. This one is up to fans in other cities, the baseball gods have already smiled on our hero of the flowing locks.

Jarrett Parker

I have been pulling for this guy since he hit three home-runs in a single, otherwise meaningless, game two seasons ago. He has amazing power. Please baseball gods, grant him the wisdom to leave-off swinging at slop. Bottom line hope: .268 average and 16 home runs. I would love to see him hit .290 with 28 homers, but let’s not go crazy. Right now he’s not even penciled in to play every day.

Hunter Pence

I’m just hoping he stays healthy, good defense and 20 bombs will follow if he just stays on the field.

The team

Well, of course I’m hoping they win the World Series in 6 games, closing it out in San Francisco against the Red Sox. Hoping, not expecting. We have a long way to go.

World Series Game One – Swwwwwweeeeeet!

Detroit Tigers power-pitching right-hander Justin Verlander was just too much for the hapless San Francisco Giants’ power starved batting lineup, proving once again that any team who can beat the Yankees MUST be the favorite in the World Series.  Oh, sorry, my bad.  That should read, All-Star Justin Verlander gets buried by the merciless onslaught of Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants. Continue reading

Zito Leads Giants to Win in Elimination Game

I was pleased and relieved when the SF Giants managed to live another game with a 5-0 playoff win in Saint Louis behind Barry Zito.  The often criticized Barry Zito shut down a good-hitting Cardinals team for 7 2/3 innings in the Giants fourth win-or-go-golfing game of the year.  After signing a huge seven-year contract before the 2007 seven, he has struggled to attain mediocrity before this season.  This season he has posted more than one key win.  He also got roughed up by the Reds in the last round of the playoff, before Lincecum came in and cleaned up the mess.

Right now on KNBR Ray Woodson is talking about how nobody expected Zito to go 7 innings of shutout ball.  I gotta be honest.  I hoped he would do well, but I didn’t KNOW he was going to do well.  Every Giants pitcher has had losing streaks this year.  None of them are a sure thing (although I like their chances with Vogelsong in Game 6 after he throttled the Cardinals in Game 3). Continue reading

Giants Tie National League Championship Series with 7-1 Win

It sure was a lot of fun for Giants fans to watch Ryan Vogelsong lead the team to a 7-1 win.  The series is now tied 1 game to 1, much to my relief.  A pitching rotation has gotta be luckier than a leprechaun with a rabbit’s foot in his jock and a horsehoe stuck in his plumber’s crack to go all season without an injury  like these guys have.  On the other hand, all five of them have strung together at least one streak of bad outings, many of them recent.  It’s been said that none of the Giants pitchers have had a good post-season start before tonight; I would argue that Vogelsong was pitching well in game 3 before being removed in the sixth for a pinch hitter for offensive purposes. Continue reading

Giants Offense Magically Reappears in Cincinnati

Sometimes baseball fans have to endure watching the entire lineup of their team go cold at the same time.  If you’ve watched the San Francisco Giants over the past five days you know what I mean.  You never see all eight of your hitters get hot, but if two or three can get hot and the rest of them don’t stink it up, your team can win some games.  That’s what the Giants did today to tie their playoff series with the Cincinnati Reds. Continue reading

A Little Post Season Torture

The San Francisco Giants just squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds to avoid playoff elimination.  As a Giants fan, I’ll take it and run, but they’re gonna need to do a little bit more on offense to keep winning.  The three players at the top of the lineup, Pagan, Sandoval and Scutaro, rather than getting it started, fumbled around the house looking for the keys for the third outing in a row.  The team as a whole was horrendous at the plate all day, as they were Sunday night, striking out about 35 times.  Continue reading

SF Giants Clinch Playoff Spot

The Giants guaranteed themselves a playoff spot with an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres last night at AT&T park, after the Dodgers had lost earlier in the day.  With ten games left in the regular season, the team can now take the opportunity work in some rest for key players like Buster Posey, give the pitching rotation extra rest days, and tune up bench players like Ryan Theriot.  As fans, we now have ten days for speculation about how far they can go in the playoffs. Continue reading