San Francisco Giants: 5 Bold Predictions For the Rest of the Season
Another day, another man down. That seems to be the story these days for the World Series-champion San Francisco Giants.
Freddy Sanchez was placed on the 15-day DL Saturday after dislocating his right shoulder diving for a ball, and continuing the voodoo-like coincidence of the best current Giants hitters going down to injury.
We witnessed this with Pablo Sandoval earlier in the season, Buster Posey a few weeks ago and now with Sanchez.
Tread lightly, Nate Schierholtz...
So how do the Giants mentally come back from losing their three best offensive players on a team that already lacks offense?
They sign Bill Hall, of course.
Hall may turn out to be a great signing by the Giants. In fact, Hall may be just the right player for this team at this point in the season.
At least until the trade deadline.
Until then, here are five bold predictions for the rest of the way.
1. Bill Hall Will Have An Impact
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How sexy was that headline?
The Giants signed Hall on Sunday after sending Freddy Sanchez to the 15-day DL, as well as learning that Sanchez's season is in serious jeopardy.
Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff....Bill Hall?
Can the Giants continue the magic of having thrown-away players contribute to their team?
Why not? It worked for the misfit winners of the 2010 World Series last season.
Hall plays nearly every position on the baseball field, which can help this ball club because, at this point, they will take every legitimate ball player they can find to play the field, since they seem to be consistently losing them.
It makes sense, though. Players with nothing to lose come to the Giants and prove themselves to the rest of the league.
It worked with Burrell at one point. Even Huff and Ross were technically castoffs who made it big.
Why not add Hall to that list?
2. The San Francisco Giants Will Break the Single-Season Walk-Off Wins Record
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Just 66 games into a 162-game season, and the Giants already have nine walk-off wins.
The current record is held by the 1959 and 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates, which finished their respective seasons with 17 walk-off wins.
The Giants are more than half-way to that record and not even halfway through the season yet.
There are two reasons for why San Francisco will break the single-season walk-off wins record: Good pitching and terrible hitting.
That combination makes for a ton of one-run games, and a ton of one-run games makes for many walk-off opportunities.
3. The San Francisco Giants Will Win the National League West
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This is more of a prediction based on the process of elimination.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are dead in the water. Neither team has enough of a good mix of consistent pitching and hitting night in and night out to contend the entire season.
The Colorado Rockies are having their own injury woes. Although everyone knows they will be making a good run sooner or later, there is still a bit of magic missing from this team that the franchise has had in past seasons.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a great start, but the fact that their players are playing out of their minds so early in the season has some scratching their heads and questioning whether this team can continue this run for the entire season. Their recent trip to the East Coast does not seem to be convincing anyone either.
From what we have seen so far, it would seem as though 88 wins could take the division.
The Giants have been through mental and physical pain from losing their three best hitters. Yet, they keep staying afloat in the division.
They have made it through this turmoil and are still eight games above .500.
From a Giants' perspective, it can only get better from here.
4. Tim Lincecum Will Be the Only San Francisco Giants' Pitcher With 15 Wins
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I feel like I am going out on a limb with this one, especially since Madison Bumgarner is starting to get his stuff back, Cain is Cain and Ryan Vogelsong has been stellar (plus, Barry Zito was dealing against Single-A players the other day.....).
However, the Giants do not score runs and are constantly in one-run games that are decided late in the game.
As great as that is for the walk-offs wins record, this does not bode well for the Giants' starters.
More often than not, we will see guys like Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez earning the win in a 3-2 Giants' victory.
Even though Lincecum has not been pitching well lately, he still has five wins and a fairly decent ERA of 3.41.
We have all seen this before. He makes a few tweaks in his delivery and comes back to pitch lights out on the Giants' way to a World Series championship.
I have got to think that with those few tweaks, Lincecum can muster up 10 more wins.
With runs being scored at a minimum, this does not seem so certain for the rest of the Giants' starting staff.
5. There's Still Magic Inside
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Despite the injuries, the Giants are still legitimate contenders to repeat as world champions.
The playoffs are a far different beast than the regular season.
With a pitching staff like the Giants have, it will be hard not to start believing again if they make the playoffs.
There is still magic inside because the Giants are still the same team of misfit ballplayers trying to earn respect in this game, despite already winning a World Series.
Losing three of the team's best hitters will not change that because it is instilled in that clubhouse.
It has caused this team to feel a lot like last year's team, except with a few more nail-biting walk-off wins.
Torture. It is here to stay in San Francisco, no matter who is on the field.