As we reach the end of the first half, the San Francisco Giants have not found much to be proud of to this point in the season. A team in last place and with consistent offensive struggles is not exactly makings of a strong baseball team. But you take the good with the bad, and the series against the Brewers will be one of those silver linings when looking back on this season. Until that point here’s my analysis of the series.
- Offense Outshined Pitching
The Giants most glaring issue throughout the year has been their inability to create offense. It’s the same issue that has been with them over the past few seasons, in fact. That issue seemed to fade a little this series, with the Giants producing 16 runs over 3 games. Now that may not seem big but the San Francisco Giants offense is currently ranked at 27th in the league in run differential so seeing the team win a series with a productive offense against the defending NL Central champs is bright spot. While this doesn’t mean anything realistically for the Giants in the long run, there is cause for optimism watching this team continue to battle against playoff contending teams rather than drudge through the season.
- Kevin Pillar Heats Up
Pillar has never been the most feared guy in a lineup. But even this year, his performance has been a little below expectations of the quick footed outfielder. Coming into the series with the Brewers, Pillar had his batting average right at .225. So naturally, he raised his average 14 points and provided a spark to the Giants offense all series long. We were given a glimpse of the spark plug type player Pillar became in Toronto. While no one expects him to be a game changer, if Pillar is able to settle in at the plate he may bring life to what has been a stagnant offense for much of the year.
- Madison Bumgarner Continues Raising Trade Stock
Coming into the year there were a number of questions surrounding Mad Bum. Things like if he would get his velocity back or if he’d be struggle to return to his ace status. And early in the season Bumgarner was touched up a little by opposing offenses. Over the past three weeks though, we’ve seen Bum put up 5 straight quality starts, 3 coming against playoff contending teams. While Giants fans hate the notion of Bumgarner being traded, it remains a real possibility and his ability to continue to pitch well may allow the Giants front office to negotiate for solid return in the instance that Bumgarner is traded. As the season inches closer to the trade deadline, teams in the playoff hunt will be looking to acquire a big name piece such as Bumgarner to help them reach the postseason. Bumgarner still holds most of the cards due to his no-trade clause. But his ability to block a trade does not mean he has to use it, especially if it means he may go to a team with playoff hopes. All of this is speculation, but if a trade is in the cards it could be big for the Giants if Bumgarner is able to continue putting together solid outings.
All in all, the series against the Brewers showed the the San Francisco Giants do not have any plans of rolling over for anyone. The players understand that their numbers still count for something at the end of the day and the willingness to compete inspires optimism. As the All-Star Break approaches, hopefully the Giants are able to figure some things out and play out a stronger second half.