Yes, this is an incredibly bold conclusion. Actually, I haven't concluded anything, I've just posed a question.
The fact of the matter is, the Giants have an incredibly fickle nature. Remember in July, when they won 20 games in a month for the first time since September of 2000? Well, right before that month, they had a seven-game losing streak. Are they going to once again bounce back?
This is a team that can get on a roll, and dominate. They have all of the tools necessary to win a game. Their rotation is as good as any in the majors. They have a solid group of hitters—Torres, Huff, Posey, Burrell, Uribe, Guillen, Sandoval, Sanchez—the problem is, they aren't always consistent.
Sandoval has struggled all year, but now he is starting to return to his 2009 form, or so it appears. He has four home runs in his last eight games, including his first home run of 2010 from the right side of the plate. These are promising signs.
Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres have carried this team the entire year, amassing a combined 10-plus Wins Above Replacement by doing everything—they have versatility on the field. Torres can run, they can both hit home runs, Torres is among the top hitters in the National League in doubles, and so on...
Posey hit .440 for the month of July, and when he is hot, he rarely goes without a hit. He's heating up again, currently riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he's batted over .400.
And, all the other guys—Burrell, Uribe, Guillen, Sanchez, etc.—have the tools to provide clutch hits here and there. Burrell, Uribe, and Guillen are all legitimate power threats, and Sanchez is the only Giant who can really play small ball—he always gets the bunt down when he needs to.
Beyond Lincecum's struggles, the rotation has really been solid. Even Lincecum has. The only problem is consistency, but after going 14 games without a win from a Giants starter, Sanchez and Bumgarner have now won back-to-back games. Lincecum, as the ace, has to be compelled to step up his game now, right?
The Giants have a tough road ahead of them, facing St. Louis and Cincinnati, both playoff contenders. They are an inconsistent team, but they possess the tools to beat any other team in the National League—well, maybe not the Padres just yet.
The Wild Card is still within their reach, though, and if they get all the right gears clicking, they can go far. Consistency is the key though, and for such a fickle-natured team, it is impossible to say whether they will get all the right gears clicking.
Their defense is average at best, with Guillen, Burrell, and Sandoval having minimal range. If they can manage to keep runs to a minimum, though, score some runs with their starting lineup in the earlier innings, then put in defensive replacements, the Giants could very well succeed.
Potential is a word often thrown around, but it's true—this Giants team has great potential. Will it be fulfilled?