After last night’s 8th inning collapse, the Giants are now 40-49. Let’s do a little math. If the Giants were to win the division this year, I’m going to say they’d need 87 wins. With the way the West is playing out, you’d have to think these teams will continue to beat up on each other in the second half. So 87 wins really isn’t an absurd number for a division winner, and winning the division is really the only chance the Giants have at making the playoffs. To get to 87 wins and a realistic chance at making the postseason, the Giants would need to win 47 of their final 73 games. This is a team that’s 17-34 since May 13, and owns a 15-30 record on the road. I’m not saying it’s impossible, and the Giants have certainly made fools of us all before, but when you’ve lost five of six at home to the Marlins and Mets, the odds aren’t really in your favor anymore.
If the season is a wash, which all signs are pointing to, then we have to look at it for what it is – a complete disappointment. There’s no sugar-coating how far this team has fallen, and I guarantee nobody feels sorry for us. I really hope the Giants send a message to a few certain guys that every spot on the team needs to be earned. No more free passes. I also hope the second half gives us a chance to see guys like Hembree, Kieschnick, and Brown. Honestly, if the fan base and the organization can’t find a silver lining in all of this, it’s going to be a miserable second half.
Losing five out of six to last-place clubs will put a team and its fan base in a sour mood, and that’s exactly what has happened after the Giants dropped below .500 for the first time since they started the season 0-1. On the field, the Giants have been injury-riddled and mired in slumps. Off of it, there have been a bevy of trade talks, and we’re still a month from the trade deadline.
Brian Sabean recently shed light on these topics, and in the process showed why the Giants are one of the most successful franchises in the game these days. You can read Andy Baggarly’s recap of the GM’s comments here, but here are the main points: The Giants know their weaknesses right now, but will not rush to make a desperation trade. They likely will make some moves eventually, but they’d rather take on salary than send prospects when that happens. Until then, they trust the current roster to step up and play competitive baseball.
On the minor league front, Sabean did reveal the organization’s feelings about two of their top prospects – Gary Brown and Heath Hembree – saying that neither will be moving from Fresno until they show some consistent play (which dispatches my theory of calling up Brown to replace Angel Pagan). Now it’ll be interesting to see if either of the two players are part of a trade.
Sabean’s comments were well-timed, and should be reassuring to the loyal Giants followers out there. Despite the pressure to win, the brass will stick to their plan in building this team. Now it is up to the fan base to trust that brass going forward.
Gary Brown hit another home run for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies tonight. Yes, the same Gary Brown who hit .180 with 1 HR in April now has 10 long balls (7 this month), and has an OPS of 1.148 over his last 9 games. Last season, Brown lost his status as an upper-level prospect in the eyes of many so-called prospect gurus (although many of us in Giants land didn’t think his season at AA Richmond was really that terrible). By the end of his first month in Fresno, nearly everyone who’d stayed on his bandwagon had written him off. Now, he’s red hot at the dish. Brown’s always been known as a plus defender, but it’s his much-hyped speed on the bases that isn’t showing up this season (9-16 in SB attempts).
With Angel Pagan shelved for who knows how long, I couldn’t see how promoting Brown at this point would hurt a team who’s had its share of blunders in the outfield. Juan Perez has provided a spark in only a handful of games since his promotion from Fresno, and I feel that Brown could do the same. The Giants could send down one of their backup catchers, and essentially use a platoon of Blanco and Torres in left, Brown and Perez in center. Crazy? Maybe, but I think the team could benefit from Brown’s speed, defense and pop. Just something that crossed my mind.