You’re watching baseball in April? Even the dog looks at you funny if he knows you’re watching the Giants play baseball in April.
And he knows.
Mayday. The Giants sit atop the National League West. They’ve won 60% of their games, and two-thirds of their series. Probably as good a record as they’re going to end up with. The Dodgers are only 1.5 games behind, playing without their star pitcher.
What, if anything, have you seen, watching the Giants play baseball in April?
In this morning’s Chron, Steve Kroner quotes manager Bruce Bochy:
“I would put this month with almost any month as far as bullpens that we’ve had here.”
Good news for Giants fans as bullpens are key to winning Bochy ball. In April, the 2014 bullpen consisting of Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Yusmeiro Petit and David Huff posted a remarkable 2.06 ERA, second in the MLB.
As consistent as the bullpen has been, the starting pitchers have been inconsistent. With the exception of new acquisition Tim Hudson. Of the eight games won by starters in April, Hudson won four, ending the month with an excellent 2.17 ERA and issuing only two walks in 45 innings. Coming off a bad ankle injury, there was some question as to how effective Hudson would be, especially early. Now the question is how effective he will be late.
Another free agent coming off an injury-plagued season—two actually—who the Giants brought in to provide some power. Morse has done that. He’s hit six home runs and leads the team in slugging and runs batted in. And “[h]e’s fun to watch,” Bochy says.
The Giants at Bat
After Pagan and Morse, a kind of maddening inconsistency has taken over the hitters which will thrill fans of uncertainty. Their run production has improved, with a notable improvement in overall power. And home runs. Last April they hit 18 home runs. This April they hit 32. Really too early to tell how the hitting will develop, but the biggest soap opera of the summer has already begun: Where Have You Gone Pablo Sandoval? starring The Panda and His Contract.
No longer The Freak, or the Hipster, Mr. Lincecum has yet to settle into comfortable suburban life in Atherton or wherever. He looks like he would be happiest hosting a barbecue in backyard Snohomish. Instead of hot dogs, he’s serving up home runs, as are his buddies Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong. OK, no numbers. Just this: Contraband “Let Timmy Smoke” T-shirts (made in Malaysia?) are said to be selling at half price.
The last inning of the last game in April. Tim Hudson on the mound with a two-run lead, thanks to a 10-hit attack featuring power from Morse and new second baseman Brandon Hicks.
With two outs, Hudson gives up a home run. A one-run game. Bochy calls the bullpen. Bring in Romo. Giants win.
Now if the rest of the season . . .
“Wake me in September,” says the dog.