The Giants are managing to not be anything. While this isn't necessarily unexpected territory for a .500 team, perhaps it's a bit more obvious to me now that it's happening to the Giants.
- The offense is poor. However, a run of health by Moises Alou and even just a semi-resurgence from Barry Bonds could change that -- fairly easily, too, I'd say. Odds of it actually happening? I'll give it about 40% in favor of.
- The starting rotation has been competitive overall, but from day-to-day you don't really know what you're going to get out of four of the five starters: Matt Cain, Matt Morris, Jamey Wright, and Noah Lowry. The only consistent starter is Jason Schmidt, which probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
- The bullpen has been much better since the jettisoning of flotsam pitchers Tyler Walker, Jeff Fassero, and Scott Munter, but still has it's moments of inconsistency mostly due to the continue usage of Tim Worrell and Armando Benitez, both of whom have WHIPs in the 1.70 range. Allowing tons of baserunners isn't what you want in your closer and setup men, but due to their veteran/contract status, these two will be allowed to ride until the wheels fall off.
- The defense has been pretty good this year overall, but unfortunately gets worse everytime their offense gets better -- when Bonds and Alou are in the lineup helping the offense, they're also in the field hurting the defense (although I must say that Alou gives absolute maximum effort while out there).
The turnaround would give this team the division lead without much issue, I think. Despite all the struggles, the Giants are only 2.5 games behind the divsion lead. I've said a few times before that a .500 record will keep a team in contention in the NL West, but I'm not so foolish as to think a team will win the division with a .500 record. I believe .550 would be plenty, but for the Giants this would constitute a turnaround and a run -- perhaps one of those...what are they called...starts with a "w"...consecutive...
A "winning streak", that's what it's called.
The Giants have had winning streaks this year, but unfortunately two and three games won in a row technically constitute a winning streak. They have yet to win more than three games in a row (they've done it four times). Folks, even the Royals have had a four game winning streak. The other teams in the NL West, meanwhile:
- Arizona has had winning streaks of seven, five, and four games, but unfortunately for them they've also had a losing streak of seven (following the Jason Grimsley affair), and they've lost five in a row on two different occasions.
- Colorado has had four winning streaks of four games, but have countered that with losing streaks of six and five games.
- The Dodgers (hm, I just threw up in my mouth a little) have had winning streaks of seven, five, and four games. Their losing streaks (just saying "Dodgers" and "losing" makes me feel better) have been five games long, occuring twice. They do, of course, currently barely have the division lead (again, in my mouth...just a little) over the...
- San Diego had the biggest winning streak of the divsion at nine games along with a five-gamer, and losing streaks of five, and two of four games.
Giants losing streak, you ask? Two of those, lasting four games apiece.
What's my point? Heck, I dunno, really. I suppose it's that every team in the division has managed to play good enough baseball to reel off at least four games or more in a row except the Giants.
Kinda makes them seem due, doesn't it?