Today is September 13, 2010, with less than a month of baseball left to play...
... and the Giants control their own destiny.
What a difference a month makes! In August, the Giants were looking like they were planning vacations for October. Now, they look like they're planning on working through that month, with eyes on some serious hardware.
August = bad, September = good, and thank god for that. The Giants went on this 10 game road trip with expectations to at least stay afloat. I personally just wanted a winning road trip, i.e. 6-4. Instead the Giants went back home going 7-3 on the raod against the dodgers, diamondbacks and padres and are now in a virtual tie with the Padres for the NL West lead.
I think its not any coincidence that this surge has began and kept going with Tim Lincecum's resurgence. In August he was 0-5 with a 8.11 ERA (wow...). In September he is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA. That sounds a lot more like the Timmy we all know and love.
The other thing that I've noticed and I'm sure other Giants fans will agree, is that this season has been on of the most exciting seasons to watch in a long time. We went to the World Series in 2002, but since then there really hasn't been a lot that Giants fans have had to cheer about in September.
I've decided to narrow them down to my
September baseball Top Ten!
10. Pat the Bat
What can you say about this guy that hasn't been said? The story is great... "aging AL ball player gets picked off waivers by his hometown Giants and revives his career, one crushed home run ball after another." Seeing him crush that ball to the roof of the Western Metal Supply building in San Diego is an exclamation point on an already impressive stay with the Giants.
9. Washed up? Watch this!
In addition to Pat, we have other players having career years for the Giants who had been discarded by other teams. Aubrey Huff is having an MVP like season with his 24 homers and Juan Uribe has been Mr. Clutch with his mighty bat. Both couldn't sign anywhere but in San Francisco and have contibuted to this playoff run.
8. Power Surge
The Giants this year are 16th in the league in home runs with 137 with 18 games to go. Not bad considering where we were a year ago. Last year we had 122 home runs... for the entire season... (second to last in the league)
7. It ain't over til I say its over...
I utterly failed in attempting to find the statistic for the most comeback wins by a team so far this season, but I do know, that this Giants team has shown time and time again that no lead is too big to come back from. From a spectacular homer from Uribe to go ahead of the Dodgers last week, or a walkoff single from Andres Torres to win the game, we've seen plenty of late game heroics this year.
6. BEAT LA
So far this year the Giants are 8-7 against our southern california rivals and with 3 games this week, they can put them away for good and get a winning record against the bums finally after going 7-11 against the Dodgers last year.
5.5 - Where's LA?
The Dodgers are basically MIA in this year's playoff race thanks to a disinterested players
and a ugly divorce proceeding between the owners.
5. Young Guns
Battery mates Bumgarner and Posey came up to the big leagues this year and showed us all why they've been coddled by the Giants' front office for the past couple years. Posey looks like he'll be our catcher and perhaps one of the best catchers in the big leagues for quite some time. Meanwhile Bumgarner came in looking like a stud from day 1 and has solidified his place in this already stellar rotation.
4. Andres "the Tower" Torres
Where would we be this year if it weren't for Mr. Torres? Its too bad he's out with an appendectomy for a couple weeks, but so far he's been having a career year offensively and his glove has been phenomenal. I love the catch phrase they have for him at AT&T: "Where fly balls go to die."
3. We've got Chemistry
Whether it was Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell trading chest slaps or Posey falling in the dugout after watching a go-ahead home run, this team's just fun to watch. We already knew Panda and Uribe were characters from last year, but add Huff, Pat the Bat and Andres Torres and you have the full zoo: the Panda, the water buffaloes and the Gazelle. Check out interviews with Affeldt or B Wheeze for more laughs.
2. STAR-ter of the week
This year it seems that every week we have one if not two or three starters who have phenomenal games. In the beginning of the season it was Timmy and Barry going undefeated for the first month and later on Cain threw 8 scoreless to the Rockies, and Jonathan Sanchez had a couple great games in a row just recently. Add Bumgarner, and this rotation can go head to head with ANY in the league. No one wants to face these guys in October, they just need to get us there.
1. Wild Wild West
As it stands today, the Giants are in a virtual tie for 1st place with the Padres, and the Rockies are 1.5 games back. The Pads and Rockies are actually slated to begin a 3 game set tonight in Colorado. Additionally, the Padres and Giants are both 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves for the Wild Card lead. This most certainly will go down to the wire with the Giants facing the Padres in the last 3 games of the season in AT&T Park...
September Baseball: GAME ON
Laws of the Day
Tim Lincecum recorded his 200th strikeout on Sunday, his third season in a row completing that feat. The last Giants pitcher to record 3 straight 200 strikeout seasons was Juan Marichal.
From my unofficial count, I saw 4, 3 pitch strikeouts by Timmy on Sunday which = Domination