Last night was my first night at the yard in 2011. I failed at going to the park in 2010, only attending five Giants games in one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory, three of which were in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals.
But last night I was at the yard, and I saw something (two things, actually) that reminded me of something that the Giants didn't have until last year: power.
Let's look at the last few years: (NL rank) [MLB rank]
2007: 131 HRs (14) . The last year with Barry Bonds.
2008: 94 HRs (16) . The only team with under 100 homers.
2009: 122 HRs (15) . The number one team had twice as many (New York Yankees, 244).
2010: 162 HRs (6)  The same amount as Texas, who was "the best offensive team" in 2010.
You lose Barry Bonds, you lose a lot of power. But even before then, Giants fans were always clamoring for someone else to hit home runs around Barry Bonds. There was no more Moises Alou or Jeff Kent to back him up. And then he left.
The Giants sure fell in love with the long ball last year though, and they really stressed that they couldn't rely on it this year to win games. The first few wins of this homestand didn't need the home runs, but instead were all about "keeping the line moving" and getting runs home. None of them were walk-off home runs, but walk-off hits.
Last night the Giants fans were treated to two home runs that got them back in the game, and then ahead. I'll admit, I was already taking a lot of flak from all the Dodger fans that I was with when Barajas hit his homer, and was not expecting back-to-back jacks from Pablo Sandoval and Mike Fontenot in the slightest.
But then the Panda hit one high and deep to left-center and (from our seats, at least) it barely cleared the wall, giving an Ian Kinsler-esque bounce that went the right way. And then Mike Fontenot, who hit one home run in 2010, stepped up to the plate. He looked like a bat boy when getting his high-fives, AFTER he took Ted Lilly way over the Willie Mays Wall in right.
That was not a cheapie. And it put the Giants ahead. Late in the game, that back end looked very strong, once again. Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson. Game over.
Homers get it done. If the Giants can sprinkle in a few game-winning hits to go with their bevy of homers like last year, they'll win more games. I don't think they'll live and die by the home run as much, which also leads to less pressing to hit home runs, and a higher overall average and OBP.
I love when the Giants win, especially when they beat the Bums. Homers by unexpected people just make it more fun.