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A "Giant" Problem for Opposing Teams

If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that the number one team in the National League was the San Francisco Giants, I would've called you crazy. But, to everyone's surprise, the Giants have surpassed all expectations and as of today, June 12th, 2021, hold the best record in the National League and second-best in all of baseball. I have been a Dodger fan since 2013 when my family went on vacation to Los Angeles and went to a Dodger game. Kershaw pitched, they won, and after the game, we got to meet with a few players on the field like Yasiel Puig, Juan Uribe, and my favorite player at the time, Adrian Gonzalez. I started following the Dodgers religiously and as a young Los Angeles fan should do, I started hating the Giants. They had just come off two World Series in 2010 and 2012 so it wasn't too hard, but I've always had a soft spot for Buster Posey that I can't explain. Maybe it is the way he plays, or how nice of a guy he is, but I've always liked him. The next season in 2014, they won yet another World Series, looking like a dynasty for the rest of the century, winning every even year. Then 2015 came, and although having a winning record of 84-78 the Giants missed the playoffs. This was the last time in the past 5 years that the former San Francisco dynasty had a winning record.

From 2016 to 2020 the Giants have never finished in the top two places in the NL West once, even finishing dead last in 2016 and second to last in 2017. Poor pitching from their starters and a lackluster bullpen have been the biggest problems for the Giants. The team ERA over the past 4 seasons hovers right around 4.50 putting it in the bottom ten for all teams in baseball. While they have had pitching woes, the team hitting hasn't been horrible at the plate with a team average of around .249 over the past couple of seasons. Going into the 2021 baseball season, the Giants were power ranked 25th (of 30) via Baseball Almanac, with little to no fanfare, but to the shock of everyone, they won, and they just keep winning.

I don't know what kind of Jobu magic Gabe Kapler and the boys have been putting on the team, but it seems to have worked. With 4 weeks till the All-Star break, the Giants are red hot, and it is not because of some young prospects who have made a huge impact, it is because of the veterans. Buster Posey is having arguably the best season of his entire career with him slashing a .340/.411/1.001 stat line along with 11 Home Runs and 23 RBI's. The 34-year-old Posey is back behind the plate after missing last season due to the pandemic, and his return is a major impact that has rippled its way throughout the whole team. Brandon Crawford, who set the record for most games as a shortstop as a Giant earlier this week, is also having a solid season with a .257/.346/.888 stat line as well as 14 Homeruns. Only three players remain from the last time the Giants won a World Series: Posey, Crawford, and Brandon Belt. But add in young guns like Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon, and Alex Dickerson, and a veteran pitching staff led by Johnny Cueto, and maybe, just maybe, the Giants can shock the world and go from the worst team of the last 5 years to World Series champions, staying a rival of the Los Angeles Dodgers for years to come.



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