And, as the season progresses, certain things that seem like happenstance at first start to gain a bit of credibility:
- The Giants haven't lost a series
- In games against Atlanta, the New York Mets, and the Astros, they are 5-3
- They've managed an 11-8 record despite having a lot of players perform below statistical expectations
So. Lucky? Perhaps they're a bit unlucky to have so many players start slowly, thus robbing them of a win or three that they would have had otherwise. In any case, if they are able to take 2 of 3 or sweep the Mets (who early on look like a top 2 or 3 team in the NL), then perhaps we'll be able to give the Giants credit for at least being a decent team, with the possibility of being better.
- I thought I remembered Omar Vizquel starting hot last season as well as this one, and I wasn't wrong, but he wasn't this hot. Last year: .315/.390/.452 with six steals. This year: .387/.494/.500 with five steals. Not to mention turning what could easily be the Double Play of the Decade with that force at 2nd base and throw to 3rd base earlier this year. You just don't see that done, and by the way, he's doing it as a 39-year old.
- Seeing Matt Cain pitch so much better is a huge relief. We can still hope to see more strikeouts all we want, but the fact is that he pitched very well without them and got the job done. Baby steps, etc.
- Lance Niekro still hasn't fully got it, but I can't help but think he's significantly further along than Pedro Feliz, who just happens to be several years older and have a couple/few thousand more big league plate appearances. Add in about 65 points to his SLG, and Lance would be right about where I think his potential lies (currently .269/.345/.385). Oh, and as horrible as Feliz has been this year (except for two back-to-back games vs. the D-Backs and Rockies), he still leads the team in at-bats, which makes so little sense that I want to cry.
- Steve Finley looks like he could start, if needed. Wondering how important this pickup may be later in the season, as Barry Bonds and Moises Alou rack up playing time and potential for injury. Alou looks like he's running through maple syrup in the outfield, but he's getting to enough balls and making enough plays to hold his own. But, I still cringe when balls are hit out to right field.
Well, that's enough for now -- I've got the day off, so I've got some important things to do like breathing, blinking, along with an occasional scratch of my testicles. I'd go somewhere, but as Jim Gaffigan likes to say, I'd probably have to put on pants.