The San Francisco Giants were on a six-game losing streak a week ago, and things were getting serious. No one really expected that it would turn out to be like the disaster of 2022 where the Giants’ plans to make a push at the trade deadline were dashed. But with each consecutive loss, tension was building up. Trade deadline decisions are always hard for a front office to make, and it was critical for the Giants to show that they could contend.
If there’s one accurate way to describe the Giants’ 2023 season, it’s a seesaw. That has essentially meant that you can’t get too happy with the highs or too depressed during the lows. They had a losing record for a long time. It seemed that every time they made progress they would have a losing skid.
Giants Break Out of Losing Streak
For a while, it seemed that the Giants just couldn’t score runs. For three games in a row, they scored only one run. Then they narrowly defeated the Oakland Athletics 2-1 last Tuesday. On Wednesday, they finally showed what they could do with the bats, beating the A’s 8-3.
— MLB (@MLB) July 30, 2023
Timely hitting helped them to win the next series against the Boston Red Sox. Things looked pretty hopeless after Friday’s loss. Logan Webb pitched into the eighth inning and still lost his battle because the offense couldn’t hit. But things changed in game two on Saturday, with J.D. Davis hitting a walk-off homer. Then, Joc Pederson ended an 11-inning contest with an RBI single on Sunday. And clutch hitting does matter, regardless of what the “experts” will try to tell you. The Giants have been a streaky team this year, but that can’t be attributed to luck. This improvement came not a day too soon. In all probability, the Giants have shown their front office that they know how to win.
THEY CALL HIM WALK PEDERSON‼️ pic.twitter.com/cwJYLRTJ9I
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 30, 2023
NL West Position
Here’s where the real suspense comes in. The Los Angeles Dodgers will not go down without a fight. At present, the Giants are one small step away from overtaking them. But the final step is destined to be the hardest. The Dodgers have already bolstered their pitching staff ahead of the trade deadline. They’re getting ready to be the toughest opponent imaginable.
The question is: can the Giants get hot when it matters? Certainly, this will apply in October if they make it there. But it also has a bearing on the critical games that the Giants will be playing down the stretch. I don’t know the mathematical increase in importance that each game has as the end of the season draws nearer. But the clock is ticking. It will soon be revealed which teams have what it takes.
The Giants have been a resilient group. While this year won’t end in 107 wins like 2021, it can be meaningful if the Giants play like we’ve just seen. They exploited the opportunity to beat the slumping A’s and then carried it over against the contending Red Sox. When they’re really bad, the Giants can’t beat even below-average teams. But when they’re really good they can beat the very best.
The Key for the Giants
Emphasis is rightly placed on improving the areas of their roster that need improvement. The Giants broke out of their losing streak last year in late July, but a bit too late. This year was different, and that is a relief. But the Giants must also focus on the talent they’ve got. Productive coaching will be essential going forward. The Giants need to bring the best out of what they already have. If all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, a championship is within their reach.
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