Although they currently sit in first place in the NL West, Brian Wilson and the San Francisco Giants have a lot of question marks to address in the second half.
Injuries to Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez have left the Giants short-handed both offensively and defensively—San Francisco will have to decide whether to upgrade the roster or stick with what they've got.
The emergence of All-Star Ryan Vogelsong has put the team in the opposite position pitching-wise, with six starters for just five rotation spots. One of them is headed for the bullpen, or possibly out the door.
Here are the Giants' 10 biggest questions going into the second half of the season.
Aubrey Huff isn't having the typical down year.
He is hitting .236 on the season, and has a terrible lefty/righty split, but not how you'd expect. San Francisco's first baseman is hitting .309 against southpaws, and .206 against righties.
Normally when a player is underperforming, it's because he is struggling against hurlers who throw from the same side.
Huff is not only doing fine against lefties, but he's seeing them better than he ever has in his career. Yet he can't seem to square up the ball against right-handed pitching.
Giants fans should not give up on Huff yet. He should be able to improve his hitting against righties more easily than the other way around.
Brandon Belt has become San Francisco's forgotten man after generating a ton of hype during spring training.
Belt's second appearance in the big leagues was ended when a Trever Miller fastball smacked Belt's left wrist, causing a hairline fracture.
He has not seen major league action since, and is currently playing for the Fresno Grizzlies.
San Francisco appears to be in no rush to bring Belt back up. The team already has a very crowded active roster and can hardly afford another hungry mouth to feed, especially in the outfield.
"If something happens up here, it's nice to have him available," said Bruce Bochy, referring to Belt's status in the minor leagues. "Hopefully we stay healthy and play well and we don't need him for a while—not that I don't want to see him. He's a nice player to have available when we do need him."
The Belt situation is certainly one to watch. He is a great secret weapon to have, but it's uncertain whether his development has been impaired by his tumultuous season.
Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand are currently in a platoon in center field.
Torres is struggling all around, but is downright abysmal against lefties, against whom he is hitting .077.
Rowand can't hit righties, but has a .352 average against southpaws.
The Giants can continue to have the two share their position. But Giants fans have to wonder whether either of the two will step up and seize hold of the wide-open job in center.
San Francisco currently employs 31-year-old Eli Whiteside as its starting catcher, but has actively been shopping for an upgrade.
Cincinnati's Ramon Hernandez has been labeled as a potential target. The Reds' 35-year-old backup catcher is hitting .322 with 10 homers in 180 at-bats this year.
Whiteside and Chris Stewart have not done terribly in Posey's stead, but there is certainly room for improvement.
The gray-haired wonder has turned it on as of late, hitting .333/.412/.633 since June 21st. If he keeps hitting like that, there won't be a need to part with prospects just to rent a catcher for the last two months of the season.
Brandon Crawford has helped the Giants shore up their infield defensively with his sure hands at the shortstop position.
But he hasn't been able to do much with the bat, hitting .208/.288/.296.
Giants fans have given Crawford a free pass since he arrived to the show direct from High-A San Jose, and he cannot be expected to hit big league pitching right away.
But you can't expect to go deep into the playoffs with an automatic out in the middle of the lineup.
Crawford cannot rely on future potential for too much longer. Eventually he's going to have to start producing, or the Giants will be forced to look for alternatives on the trade market.
All signs indicate that the new Barry Zito is in fact for real, given several significant adjustments the wily southpaw made while recovering from his foot sprain.
You can never be sure with Zito though, who has failed at every turn since he signed his disastrous $126 million contract in 2006.
Zito has put together three quality starts since his reinstatement in the rotation, going 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Everyone in San Francisco hopes he can keep it up, but nobody is holding their breath.
The Jonathan Sanchez debate has been raging for years, but will finally come to a head in the second half of this season.
San Francisco placed Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list last week, officially with left biceps tendinitis.
But the fact that he was struggling combined with Barry Zito's imminent return suggests that the Giants wanted to give Sanchez some time off to tweak his mechanics and get back on track.
The king of the 5.2-inning exit needs to put together a strong second half to salvage his season.
There's a catch: With Barry Zito pitching well in his stead, Sanchez may not even get his rotation spot back.
Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean have a dilemma on their hands with six starting pitchers. It remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.
Nate Schierholtz has lit up National League pitching recently, hitting .421 over his past 16 games. He and Pablo Sandoval are currently San Francisco's only consistent hitters.
The once-promising prospect has disappointed in his five years in San Francisco, always tantalizing the team with his five-tool potential but ultimately falling short of expectations.
It's possible Schierholtz has finally found his groove in his age-27 season.
It's also possible he's just on a hot streak, and will shortly fade back to anonymity on the bench, relegated only to defensive-replacement duties and sporadic pinch-hit opportunities.
Brian Wilson and his beard have been anything but fearsome over the past two weeks. Since June 30th, the reigning NL saves leader has allowed five earned runs in six innings, resulting in two blown saves and a loss.
It is much too early to panic. But keep in mind that the life of a closer tends to be short.
Since 2008, Brad Lidge, Jonathan Broxton, Brian Fuentes and Joe Nathan have had at least one season of 35 or more saves. All four were considered amongst the league's premier closers.
Combined, the four have 10 All-Star appearances, but not a single closer gig in 2011.
Dominant closers like Mariano Rivera are the exception, not the rule. Most often, closers have two to four stellar years, and then fade to the background. The drop-off comes quickly, and often without much warning.
Broxton, for example, had a fantastic year in 2009 and earned an All-Star bid after a good first half in 2010. Then he imploded, and has not been the same since.
A strong second-half showing from Brian Wilson would do much to convince San Francisco that the three-time All-Star is not going the way of other recent top closers.
The biggest question for the San Francisco Giants is whether All-Star second baseman Freddy Sanchez will return this year.
The former NL batting champ is optimistic he can postpone season-ending surgery on his dislocated shoulder until after the season, which would allow him to return in mid-August.
Freddy Sanchez has left a gaping hole on the right side of the infield. His bat, glove and leadership have all been sorely missed.
Getting their star second baseman back dramatically increases the Giants' chances of repeating as world champions. The whole city is hoping to see No. 21 back in action before season's end.