Thursday, June 20, 2013

Filling In


Lineups from Baseball Reference


Those two lineups are drastically different. It's not what we expected to see in mid June, but here we are.

The lineup on the left is from Game 1 of the 2012 World Series. The one on the right, well that's this past Monday June 17 against the Padres.

Somehow, some way, the San Francisco Giants have been able to stay in the race. The battered and bruised is plenty on this ball club. Angel Pagan, Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, and even Brandon Crawford have had to take some time to heal.

In the meantime, the Giants are 37-34, only 1.5 games back of Arizona. The whole division is a logjam with only the Dodgers under .500 right now. Yet despite all the hurt, the Giants are in the middle of this race.

So how did they hang on? Contributions from unexpected sources has led the way. So here's my thank you to those that have stepped up since the Giants have hit rough times.

Thank you to Juan Perez. The effort he displayed in his very first game made all of us gasp. There isn't a patch of grass too large for those legs. He's done some mighty fine work out there. Oh, and thanks for not being a slouch with the bat either. A .348 batting average to start a big league career is not shabby at all. Plus quality at bats, and coming through in a clutch situation Tuesday night,

Thank you to Gregor Blanco. Yes I know he is a regular but his role has changed since Pagan went down. He's been the leadoff man for a few weeks now and is consistently getting on base. Not only that, Gregor seems to like hitting in late game situations. He's not afraid to be the center of a rally.

Thank you to Joaquin Arias. The regular back up infielder has been starting almost every day for 3 weeks now. I don't think there is an infield position he hasn't played this year. His bat is coming around lately too. Some line drives are starting to fall, and Arias isn't one to sit there with his bat on his shoulder.

Thank you to Tony Abreu. Another versatile player that has filled in at more than one spot. He can play 3rd or 2nd, or even the outfield if it is really needed. The stats haven't been flashy, but 4 of his 8 hits have gone for two bases. Not a lot is asked of Tony Abreu, and he is handling that workload just fine.

Yes thank you too, Hector Sanchez and Andres Torres. They both have moments that make all fans scratch their collective heads, but both have come through with big hits in the past few weeks. It seems like Sanchez is here to stay, but I wouldn't count on Torres being around as long. Mr. Juan Perez is still playing well when Pagan comes back healthy.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the tough stretch the Giants are in right now. You can read that here. As a team they have done a magnificent job of weathering the rough parts until all the pieces are back in place.

Things could be a lot worse. They could be the Dodgers.

Eric Nathanson
@2outhits on Twitter

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