San Francisco Giants: World Series Bound
Since that time, the Giants have managed to build an 8.5 game lead over their divisional rivals, and it is all thanks to their offense. When Melky Cabrera was lost for 50 games due to a steroid-related suspension, the Giants seemed hopeless at the plate. Melky led the team in batting average, hits and runs up to that point (he led the league in batting average and hits as well) and without his bat in the lineup, the Giants figured to struggle to score.
Hunter Pence has begun to show signs of life after a miserable August after being acquired at the non-waiver deadline in July. Buster Posey is having an MVP type season and he is only a year removed from that gruesome ankle injury that cost him all of last season. Pablo Sandoval returned from the DL to contribute at a high rate with runners in scoring position. Angel Pagan set the Giants single-season record for triples. Marco Scutaro has been one of the best trade deadline acquisitions of any squad in the MLB.
The Giants starting staff, however, has struggled since the All-star break. Only three times in their last 24 games has a starter reached the 7-inning mark; and Matt Cain did it all three times. Also, the Giants most consistent starter since the break? Tim Lincecum. Aside from pitching his worst baseball of his career over the first few months, Lincecum has quietly settled in, having gone 6-3 over his last 10 starts with an ERA of 3.02. He also leads his team with 183 strikeouts on the year. There was a point during the first half when Timmy boasted a record of 4-11 with an ERA north of 6.00. He is now 10-14 with an ERA of 4.91 overall.
An underrated aspect to the Giants squad is their bullpen. Without All-star closer Brian Wilson for the year, Bruce Bochy has gone to closer-by-committee and it has worked very well. The combination of Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez has combined to give the Giants 50 saves on the year, second only to Cincinnati's 51.
No Cy Young talk surrounding the Giants rotation this season, but MVP talk around Buster Posey while the Giants run away with the pennant give this team more than enough heading into what will be an October to remember.