It all seemed so simple back on Thursday, after the San Francisco Giants clinched what at the time seemed like a symbolic series win in Philadelphia. Now the Giants find themselves just one game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and their mini-flurry of trades made with the intention of bolstering their offense seems like someone starting a weight-loss plan by ordering a Diet Coke at Jack In The Box with a Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger.
Is this 4-game losing streak — spanning a deflating sweep in Cincinnati and a 5-2 loss to Arizona where the Giants out-homered the D-Backs 2-0 — something to panic over, or just a little tough spot before the Giants go back to winning series after series? With this team, which is one loss away from having a negative run differential over this season, who knows? Here are 10 things we do know.
Debbie Downerisms (or Negative Nancyisms, if that’s your preference)
1. Freddy Sanchez will undergo shoulder surgery tomorrow, officially ending his season.
2. Barry Zito becomes just the latest Giant to land on the DL for questionable reasons (if the Giants aren’t careful, they’re going to force MLB to change their rules and require notes from third-party doctors for every DL stay).
3. Nate Schierholtz better start hitting soon. Otherwise he won’t just be sitting against tough lefties.
4. Aubrey Huff’s home run on Monday night bought him at least a week with Bruce Bochy — sorry, Brandon Belt
5. Even considering the weight loss, it’s kind of weird counting on Pablo Sandoval to be the top run producer when he only played in two of the 11 playoff games the Giants won less than a year ago.
Why the Anchor Steam is half full
6. With Cody Ross’ 2-hit game and a homer to leadoff the game, Bochy has a new leadoff guy! Sure, it’s probably only for the next couple days, but it’s a start!
7. Watching Carlos Beltran wait for a fastball from Ian Kennedy and then crush it into triples alley was one of the rare times this season when something great a Giant did at the plate in 2011 didn’t seem like an accident. Startlingly fun to watch.
8. Jeremy Affeldt, who pitched a perfect 2 1/3 innings on Monday night, is quietly having quite the comeback year. (He’s the anti-Huff!)
9. It’s official: Jonathan Sanchez is replacing Zito in the rotation. Even if you’re one of the people who takes it as a personal affront when Sanchez walks guys and slumps his shoulders, it sure beats watching the guy who decided it was a good idea months after being left off the postseason roster to let Showtime film him doing yoga on his roof and shave shirtless for the team’s reality show. A reality show they never would have been chosen for if his teammates didn’t win the World Series. At this point it’s hard to even worry about what Zito can contribute to the Giants, since a guy who can’t hit 85 mph with his fastball or control any of his pitches from game to game isn’t really contributing.
10. There are 53 games left, the Giants are only battling one team to get to the playoffs, they’re a game ahead of them, and, despite the D-Backs adding Brad Ziegler at the trade deadline, San Francisco still has the better overall pitching staff. Things could be much worse.