San Francisco Giants Month In Review April Edition

Ranier Reglos Contributor IMay 1, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 07:  Bengie Molina #1 of the San Francisco Giants hits a solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season on April 7, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

After a sub-par start to the season, the San Francisco Giants are heading into May with a 10-10 record, going 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Led by their starting staff and one of the most underrated catchers in the league, signs are positive that the Giants are finally putting it together. 

The Giants starting staff deserves credit for its late resurgence. The rotation has been one of the best in the majors since mid-April and looks to continue its dominance into the summer.

The youth of the rotation is finally becoming what most teams and scouts have predicted—dominant. Reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, along with Matt Cain and Johnathan Sanchez, were simply amazing in April.

Their combined ERAs is sitting at 2.61, with 74 2/3 innings pitched and 78 strikeouts.

While Lincecum has been his usual self, Cain who has been the one turning heads lately.

Cain reached 2-0, and could have easily been 3-0 if it weren't for a bullpen collapse last Sunday. Suffice to say, he has been the co-ace of this staff and may be in discussions for a Cy Young if his dominance continues.

Unlike their youthful counterparts, however, the veterans have been struggling. Randy Johnson and Barry Zito have a combined ERA of 5.70, both allowing 13 runs a piece.

But in their defense, Zito's last two outings have been great and Johnson's next start will be against the Rockies, against whom he owns a 18-7 record against. Look to a May rebound from these two.

Also leading them into the month of May and beyond is Bengie Molina's bat. The Giants are competing on a daily basis solely because Monlina is hitting a comfortable .329 with four home runs and 18 RBI.

Big Money Molina has been clutch and is the reason the Giants are sitting .500 in the NL West. 

Meanwhile, Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria, and Pablo Sandoval continue to lift their own respected batting averages. 

Like the Giants, Sandoval got off to a slow a start, hitting .195 through 11 games, but he has lifted his average to .307. The Sandoval we saw last season that scouts praised is finally coming into his own. 

Another early season success story is Renteria, who finished his last game in April with a four-hit night and is batting .275 with two home runs and 11 RBI. 

What was looking like another signing bust, Renteria has elevated his game, and is now becoming a fan-favorite in San Francisco. 

With the exception of the four players mentioned above, a couple of Giants have had their bats go the way of the dinosaur. Most notably Emmanuel Burriss, Travis Ishikawa, and Fred Lewis.

Burriss and Ishikawa are simply not hitting, and while it is early in the season, it's hard to say whether keeping both of them in the majors will help or hinder the team in the long haul.

It wouldn't surprise anyone if Burriss was replaced by Kevin Frandsen in the near future, and the Giants may make a trade for a first basemen if production continues to be a problem.

Fred Lewis, on the other hand, has baffled most Giants fans. Not only was he hitting over .360, but at one point he was the National League's OBP leader. The last seven games, Lewis has struck out 10 times and watched his average drop to .299.

Let's not forget, he committed a costly error in the recent Giants game against the Dodgers. But Lewis can't take all the blame, because the Giants defense has definitely had it's share of ugly moments in the month of April. 

It has been an up-and-down month, but the big question is can the Giants expect to end May on top of the NL West?

Giants fans, it's possible, but only if they get improved defense, improve their situational hitting, and continue their dominant pitching.