Friday, April 22, 2011

Rolling Giants set for NLDS rematch

After their terrible first series to open the season, the San Francisco Giants have met every challenge that has been thrown at them.  They split a two game series in San Diego and they have taken two out of every three games since then.  I know a lot of fans are disappointed that they haven't swept any teams (they should have swept the D-backs) but if they keep winning 2 out of every 3 games, then they are on pace for a 108 win season.

The series against the Rockies was absolutely as big of a series as you can get this early in the season.  The Rockies were rolling over the competition and had a nice lead over the Giants coming into the series.  To take 2 out of those 3 games, in Colorado no less, reminds the baseball world that the path to the World Series still runs through San Francisco.

That brings us to the series starting today.

The Giants and Braves meet for the first time since their NLDS series last October.  Atlanta is struggling a little bit with a 4-6 record over their last 10 games and an 8-12 record overall.  I wouldn't put all that much stock in their record because I still think this team is at least as good as last season and I doubt that they will finish the season below .500.

The Giants, as I mentioned before, are rolling right now.  Despite this stupid schedule that had them in Colorado Wednesday, home for 3 games starting today, and then in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.  I think they are set up to have a good series with Bumgarner going today and then Timmy, and Dirty going on Saturday and Sunday.

I also think that today's start is going to be the one where we see the Madbum of last season.  Remember, he had a rough beginning to last season and it ended with him twirling a shutout in the World Series.  Plus, I think his last start against, Arizona was a big deal.  He gave up the four early runs and then stayed in to shut the Dbacks down.  I really am glad that Boch left him in there to clean up his own mess.

I want to just say one last thing about Brandon Belt.  I think that the Giants handled the situation about as good as they could have handled it.  His season last year, plus his spring this year earned him a shot at sticking with the big club.  Whether it was because of Ross' injury or not.  The bottom line is he didn't hit well enough to stick, small sample size or not.  If he had been hitting .280 or had 3 or 4 HRs, then Darren Ford would be in Fresno right now.  Also, if Aaron Rowand hadn't got off to such a hot start, then Belt may still be around.  The bottom line is, the only way to know for sure if a guy is ready for the bigs is to let him play in the bigs.  Sure, in a perfect world, you want to get the guy 100 or so ABs.  But this world isn't perfect and the Giants gave him all the opportunity that they could.  They can't afford to let the guy hit .180 for much longer and it really would be mishandling him to have him sit on the bench.  Now, he goes to Fresno where he can work out the kinks in his swing and he already has all the lessons he learned from the big boys.  It's all just a part of a young player's development.  This kid isn't Buster Posey.  Those kind of guys are once in a generation type players.  He is gonna have to take a little more time to develop like 90% of big leaguers.

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