This was a tweet from Andrew Baggarly about a month and a half ago…
…it’s quite relevant now. The Giants are hitting, and they have been unbeatable.
Six home runs today — the first time the Giants have had that many since August 7, 2006. Matt Cain went deep, becoming the first Giants pitcher to homer in more than three years (Cain had the last one, too). The Giants had four in one inning for the first time in more than 50 years. Here’s a fun fact: of the 18 home runs that Esmil Rogers has allowed in his career, ten of them have now been Giants.
Pablo Sandoval had a couple homers and a triple — which, while not quite as special as the cycle, is still somewhat rare: he became just the 12th player to do that in franchise history (Willie Mays did it three times). Oh yeah, and Brandon Belt has now homered in three straight games (no other Giant has done that this season).
This team is red-hot right now, having won eight games in a row. During that span, they’ve outscored opponents by a margin of 57-23. They’re scoring runs, and they’re pitching well. And the best part is: they’re doing it while getting Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt in the lineup on a routine basis.
Their chances of making the playoffs are still rather slim — CoolStandings currently has their playoff odds at 5.1%. That said, four games out of the wild card with nine games left is not entirely insurmountable. And though the Giants’ are five games out of first in the NL West, they have the luxury of facing Arizona for three more games. A sweep would do absolute wonders for them.
Anyway, after back-to-back series sweeps, the Giants have tomorrow off. On Tuesday, they’ll begin a three-game set in LA, and game one won’t be too easy: they’ll face off against Clayton Kershaw, who’s consistently dominated them over his career, and has emerged as a serious Cy Young candidate this season.
A few final notes:
- Joe West is a horrible umpire.
- Pablo Sandoval should win a Gold Glove this year.
- Thanks to a fantastic September, Carlos Beltran has now performed better at the plate in San Francisco than he did while he was in New York.
- Giants pitchers can hit — and their contributions at the plate have played a modest role in the Giants’ eight-game winning streak. Over those eight games, they’ve combined to hit .318 with five singles, a double, and a homer (22 at-bats in total). They’ve been the hottest-hitting pitchers in baseball over the past week, and — not accounting for Matt Cain’s day at the plate, they’ve been worth roughly one win with their bats in 2011.
- The Baseball-Reference Blog has a few interesting notes on today’s game: among them is this interesting stat — Five games of 8+ runs in the streak; they had 1 such game in their previous 61.