The San Francisco Giants have had one a great season up to this point, regardless of their inconsistency. They are 17 games above .500 and are one game back of the San Diego Padres, who have led the NL West for most of the year.
The Giants wouldn't be in the position they are in now without their pitching. Everyone knows the Giants have a great staff, even if they have largely underperformed during highly expected times.
Tim Lincecum has set the tone for the pitching staff all year long. If Timmy is on, usually so are the pitchers behind him. Barry Zito has lost his second-half magic so far, but Jonathan Sanchez has greatly picked up the slack as of late. He had only gone six or more innings in back-to-back starts ONCE, until he dominated the Colorado Rockies for 8 innings, giving up one run, but earning a no-decision, and then defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers by hurling seven shutout innings on Sunday.
Sanchez has shown a great improvement in his control during these starts, walking only three, while striking out fifteen. That is a five to one strikeout to walk ratio. There is no doubt that Sanchez has dominating stuff, but his lack of control and high pitch counts makes it hard for him to be consistent.
On the offensive side, Aubrey Huff has been the main catalyst in the middle of the year throughout the whole year. Buster Posey has sure done his part since being called up. The Giants rely on his balanced hitting attack and occasional power to give them a boost.
Also, the second-half resurgence of Pablo Sandoval and Freddy Sanchez has led to great success as well. The Giants definitely wouldn't be where they are now if Sandoval continued on hitting at a .260 average. Also, he hit six home runs before August. During August, he doubled his total, launching another six big flies.
Freddy Sanchez has done his part too. he has raised his batting average twenty points and hit the first opposite field home run of his career last night against the Diamondbacks.
And who could forget journeyman, Andres Torres. All of us Giants fans know his story. He has more stolen bases and home runs this season then he had in his previous years combined. His stellar defense has probably saved over ten runs.
He has calmed down lately, but it seemed like a month or so ago I couldn't watch a Giant highlight reel without him making a diving catch or spider-walking on a wall. He has been slightly cold lately, but overall, he is one of the main reasons the Giants have been so successful.
This slide was pretty much the summary of who is going to be on this slide show, but now it's time for the rankings.