Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lucky seven in a row?

On paper, this is not the kind of team that should be capable of a 7-game win streak, given how disastrous the offense is. And yet ...
Something about Wrigley Field and Coors changes the character of teams. In this case, the Giants gave up 10 runs in the doubleheader and still won fairly easily, pounding out 19 runs and 30 hits. Lefty Malo makes some astute observations -- particularly the D by Brandon Crawford at SS (click through for the video). Lefty believes he's a better hitter than he's shown recently --

That's the Giants' shortstop of the future. It doesn't matter if he hits .200. The Giants need to find other hitters to pick up the slack. This is a team that can afford a banjo-hitting shortstop in the 8-hole, as long as he turns seeds into outs with his glove. There's a bonus with Crawford, too: He's going to be OK with the bat. I'm no scout, and I'm no Nostradamus, but I've seen the kid take enough solid at-bats against tough lefty relievers -- like his two-run double against John Grabow tonight -- indeed, against all manner of pitching, to give me hope. He's been making lots of outs, but he hasn't looked lost at the plate. The hidden numbers back me up: His average on balls put in play is .209, extremely unlucky even for a light-hitting shortstop. (League average is .291.) What's more, he's actually walking more and striking out less than the league average. He might not ever be a force at the plate, but my eyes and the stats tell me that he's got the ability not to embarrass himself. And if the rest of the Giants hit decently, that's all the team could ask for. Seven in a row, three games to the good in the division, all without their rock-solid second baseman or folk-hero catcher, without their Panda for much of the year or anyone vaguely resembling a middle-of-the-order power hitter. If there were half-year manager of the year awards, could the NL prize go to anyone other than Bruce Bochy? .

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