36 shutout innings, Giants trade speculation

Bumgarner pitches a one-hitter as Giants continue to dominate.

The domination of the Giants pitching staff that I wrote about in my pre-season predictions is coming to fruition, and if Tim Lincecum has found his way then the Giants should be able to pull away from the Dodgers going into the All-Star break.

Madison Bumgarner pitch a one-hitter to run the Giants scoreless innings streak to 36 innings, still 20 innings shy of the record set by the Pittsburgh Pirates with 56 innings in 1903. The Baltimore Orioles came close in 1974 with 54 scoreless innings pitched in September on their way to the ALCS before losing to the Oakland A’s. Of course, the A’s went on to win the World Series that year behind Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, and one of Hawk’s favorites, Catfish Hunter.

Can the Giants shutout the Reds for another 20-plus innings to take the record? I don’t see it happening with the Reds offense, but stranger things have happened in baseball, Phil Humber had a perfect game this year.

The Giants offense continued to provide enough cushion by putting up five runs to allow Bumgarner to cruise to his 10th victory of the season, and give the Giants a one game lead over the Dodgers who lost to the Mets, 3-2. The Dodgers continued their downward spiral and may be next team to make a move well before the trade deadline. There are a few rumors swirling about two Chicago Cubs that could be LA bound, Alfonso Soriano or Bryan LaHair. Obviously, from a Cubs’ fan perspective you would love Jed Hoyer to move Soriano to the Dodgers. This would have the Cubs eating a lot of dollars, but not sure if he fits an already crowded outfield once Matt Kemp returns. LaHair seems to be a better fit for the Dodgers, but his numbers have been on steady decline, so his trade value has declined.

For the Giants, they will be getting organizational improvements so a trade may not be necessary. Looks like Aubrey Huff is finally ready for his rehab assignment or nearing it. He’s been taking BP and fielding after bruising his knee celebrating Matt Cain’s perfect game. First an anxiety disorder followed by a freakish injury, not a good year for Huff.

It will interesting to see if the Giants make any moves at or near the trading deadline, and if they do I’d imagine it would be to add a legitimate power hitter. It seems to be the thing the Giants have been lacking since Barry Bonds retired. Where will the Giants go to get power?

One possibility would be Carlos Quinten, as his stay with the Padres seems destined to be a short one with their season basically over. The Giants could definitely add CQ as an everyday outfielder, as Gregor Blanco and Nate Schierholtz are more roll players than everyday starters. Each has done an amicable job when called upon to start this season, but you definitely like someone like CQ moving into a starting roll.

Another possibility might be Hanley Ramirez, as it looks like the Miami Marlins might be entering a sell mode with a 2-8 record over their last 10 and 8-1/2 games out. Ramirez can return to shortstop, his natural position. The Marlins will be asking for a lot for Ramirez, so we’ll see if the Brian Sabean is willing to give it up. The Giants pride themselves on homegrown talent, so he may not be willing to give up the necessary players to appease the Marlins.

Other options might be Josh Willingham from the Twins or Josh Reddick from Oakland, although Reddick is young and should fit into Oakland’s plans for the next few years with only 217 major league games under his belt.

Those seem like the best options for the Giants at the moment, unless an unlikely seller surfaces. I think the big question for the AL East is when do the teams near the bottom turn into sellers, if at all? The Blue Jays are at .500 in last place and 8-1/2 out at the moment of the division and five games back in the Wild Card. They may turn out to be the wild card come trade deadline time depending on what management decides to do.

No matter what happens, it’s great to see the Giants turn things around.

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