Are the San Francisco Giants for Real?
The San Francisco Giants are officially one of the best teams in baseball, and it surely was unexpected at the beginning of the 2021 season, and doubters are still present in wondering if they can keep up this pace and finish out the year in such impressive fashion. The Giants have shown that the NL West is a battle of titans and that they want to be the biggest of them all. They are in third place in the NL West, but their record of 28-18 is still one of the best in baseball. The Padres, Dodgers, and Giants hold three out of the top five spots in ESPN’s most recent power rankings.
Their pitching staff is one of the best in baseball, holding the third-best ERA, they are the second-best in quality starts, fifth in WHIP, and seventh in Batting Average Against. Defense is the name of the game for the SF Giants, and anybody who doubts them will have to find an argument against the consistency of the Giants’ starting rotation.
What are they doing right?
As mentioned before, the Giants are pitching fantastically. Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Wood are giving the Giants amazing chances to win. Tyler Beede has also been building himself up in AAA with hopes to make it into the majors, and analysts like his arm a lot. If he makes it into the starting rotation soon, the SF Giants will be an even bigger force on the mound and should be able to keep their record going late into the season.
This success might be due to the lack of fastballs thrown by their pitchers. Rather than fastballs up in the zone that has become the trend in Major League Baseball, with pitchers trying to work up into the zone to force pop-outs or the ever-popular strikeout that pitchers seem to search for and batters feel alright taking.
The SF Giants, however, they’re working off speed into the bottom half of the zone, leading into fundamental baseball. Balls hit straight into the dirt, leading into easy, fundamental outs are the bread and butter of the Giants defense, and it shows in their pitching stats.
Fundamental baseball has been the key to their success on the offensive side of the game, too. They are ranked on the lower end of the spectrum on swing percentage and in the top percentage in walks. They let other teams make mistakes and don’t overexert themselves, waiting for their moments. The best teams are the teams that play as a team, and the Giants are doing this.
Can they keep it up?
I say yes. Teams that don’t stick around for long are teams that do not have the stats to back up their performances or win on individual efforts, but the Giants don’t necessarily do that. They’re not crushing home runs especially well. Their success comes from their ability to set themselves up for success. Then comes the talent, and the talent elevates their game. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as luck, only talent meeting opportunity. The Giants have the talent, and they are giving themselves the opportunity.
As far as the remainder of the season goes, the San Francisco Giants have all year to prove that, not only are they for real, but they are definitely the best team in Major League Baseball right now. We’ll see in September if everything will come to fruition for the Giants.