The San Francisco Giants (5-2) head back to the city by the bay for their home opener on Tuesday afternoon. Coming into the season they were expected to be a solid ball club with their playoff chances hinging on their pitching staff. Seven games in however, the Giants are looking more like an offensive powerhouse rather than a pitching dominant, one run at a time team that they have been in the past.
The National League West leading Giants rank second in the entire majors with 40 runs scored and first with eleven home runs. San Francisco only managed to hit 18 homers during all of last season’s month of April. Their 109 total bases rank third in the majors, as does their .449 slugging percentage. But can the Giants sustain such a torrid offense? That is the question that experts, writers and pundits have been asking themselves all week long. But Bruce Bochy’s ball club is used to doubters.
Winners of two of the past four World Series titles, the Giants are trying to continue their city’s recent tradition of an every other year championship parade. But it will be no easy task now that their hated rival Los Angeles Dodgers have an endless supply of money and aren’t afraid to take on any contract, no matter how asinine it may be.
Luckily for the Giants, their scorching hot offense is just an extra luxury that happens to be outshining their pitching staff’s mediocre start to the season. It should be noted that the Giants staff still ranks third in the National League with 57 strikeouts and has given up the least amount of walks, allowing only 12 thus far.
With the addition of Tim Hudson, who will start the home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, the San Francisco staff has already seen a dramatic boost from last year. Last Wednesday in Arizona, Hudson threw 103 pitches over 7 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on just three hits and striking out seven, propelling the Giants to a 2-0 victory. He improved to 8-1 against Arizona and is now 5-1 at Chase Field. He looks to start the Giants home stand in similar fashion.
Center fielder Angel Pagan has been setting the tone for the Giants offense at the lead off spot with a .419 batting average, eight RBI’s and a home run. His presence alone has made the Giants a better team than last year. Whether he is hustling to beat out a ground ball, driving in runs or showing off his stellar defense, Pagan is the engine that gets them rolling.
With that being said, Buster Posey is still the Giants captain and most important player because of his ability to handle the pitching staff and knack for the big moment. Posey is off to a good start this season, hitting .320 with two home runs. With the emergence of Brandon Belt in the two hole who is hitting .323 with four home runs and seven RBI’s as well as the new addition of Michael Morse who is hitting .350 with five RBI’s and protecting Posey in the fifth spot, Posey is due for a big year.
The Giants have sold out AT&T Park every game since October 1, 2010. Tuesday’s home opener will surely extend their streak as it is guaranteed to be a loud, high energy, standing room only crowd.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer for the San Francisco Giants