Giants Still Rule the West
After Buster Posey’s season-ending injury during an extra inning loss to the Florida Marlins on May 25th, it would not have been surprising if the Giants struggled to recover from such a devastating hit to the team psyche. And for a few games, they did seem to be in a fog of sorts. They were shut out in two of the next four games, losing three.
But before the Colorado Rockies or Arizona Diamondbacks – the only teams that appear to have a realistic shot at challenging San Francisco for the NL West title – get too excited, they’ll need to figure out how to beat the defending champs head-to-head.
Earlier in the season when the Rockies were enjoying a ride atop the division and looking like a team to be reckoned with, the Giants went into Colorado and quickly took the first two games of a three-game series before dropping the third game. Likewise, the Giants took two of three when the Rockies paid a visit to San Francisco a month later.
The Diamondbacks, under the more focused leadership of Manager of the Year candidate Kirk Gibson, had been on tear in recent weeks to pull into a virtual tie with the Giants. But again, San Francisco took the first two in a three-game set at Arizona this week before dropping the third in extra innings. Even another tough loss, the potential season-ending injury to Freddy Sanchez, didn’t stop the Giants as recent pickup Bill Hall came through with a big hit to help key a win. The Giants are now 5-1 against Arizona.
With Pablo Sandoval returning to the lineup in the past week, the offense should be more consistent. And if Tim Lincecum gets back on track – and who doesn’t think he will – the Giants again appear to be in the driver’s seat for the NL West title.
It’s tough to beat the heart of a champion.
Of course, the talent-laden Phillies are looking forward to that opportunity again come playoff time.