The Giants could not have opened the second half any better than the did by sweeping their way into first place. While the Houston Astros are not the cream of the crop in baseball this season, a sweep during a divisional dogfight is huge.
While the Giants were busy sweeping the Astros, the Dodgers despite getting Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back looked as lethargic as they did going into the All-Star break allowing the Giants to jump up 1-1/2 game lead in the NL West.
The big news is Tim Lincecum looked pretty phenomenal to start off the second half going eight innings allowing only five hits, one walk, and striking out 11. This is the Lincecum were used to seeing, and if this is what we’ll get the rest of the second half the rest of the NL West can pack it in. The Giants will not have to worry about adding reinforcements since there’s not a staff in baseball with a solid 1-5 this season, but a return to form by Lincecum gives them arguably the best starting four in baseball. That will make them very difficult to beat in the post season.
To make things even better for the Giants, the Chicago Cubs swept the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley this weekend pushing the Diamondbacks to 6-1/2 games behind the Giants. The good news about that is the Diamondbacks are the team I was beginning to worry about, but 6-1/2 games will be tough to make up with the way the Giants have played since mid-June.
How about Pablo Sandoval? Two triples in one week, who knew? After dropping some weight in the offseason, he’s deceptively fast this season. He hit the first base clearing triple in All-Star game history and he had another triple on Friday night against the Astros.
With the Giants’ offense scoring runs more easily this year and the pitching staff looking to be on the mend the sky’s the limit, however, if they could add a little more offensive pop in the infield or center that would be welcomed.
Let’s keep it going boys and put this thing away by the end of July. Let’s go Giants!!!