Hear me out, Giants fans. I understand you’re upset that the Chicago Cubs eliminated the San Francisco Giants from the 2016 NLDS. The Giants were supposed to win. It’s an even year and that’s what they do! Well, it was bound to end eventually, and I think it was actually a good thing. Once you recover from the Giants’ bullpen blowing another lead and the Giants being eliminated, here is my reasoning.
First, the “Even Year Magic” or “BeliEVEN” was bound to end eventually. The Giants couldn’t keep getting away with the patchwork they’ve used this decade to win championships. The Cubs are one of the best teams in the last ten years, and the Giants nearly took them to the brink with a team full of holes.
San Francisco sent out an amazing defensive team this season with strong starting pitching. Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija and the mid season acquisition of Matt Moore made this a tough team to beat.
However, for some reason the Giants were one of the worst hitting teams in all of baseball this year. Brandon Belt led the Giants in home runs this year….with 17. Injuries played a role but the Giants’ lack of power is frightening. Posey and Pence were injured, Crawford had a natural regression, but at a certain point, people need to realize Brandon Belt isn’t what everyone thinks. How many sub-20 home run seasons will he have to go through before people stop saying he’s a 20 home run hitter? He hasn’t done it yet and he’s past the age where you make a huge jump.
The main problem for the Giants this year was the bullpen. One of the worst bullpens in the history of major league baseball took the Giants out of 20+ games. They couldn’t find a closer to rely on at any point in the season, and that lack of quality eventually rubbed off on the entire ‘pen. It got to a point where anyone that even somewhat followed the Giants assumed the game was over if a starter came out.
Now you’re probably asking why I think a bunch of negative things are good for the Giants. The simple answer? Now the front office HAS to do something. Bobby Evans, Brian Sabean and all the other decision makers have repeatedly said they didn’t believe in the even year conspiracies and constantly wanted to make the team better. Their actions proved otherwise.
Offense has been a problem for the Giants for years now, yet they only sign mid-tier veteran free agents or gamble on guys in their system. Teams don’t statistically have the success with a farm system the Giants have had so it made sense it would finally bite them. Denard Span is a better hitter than Angel Pagan, but he’s not a make or break player. Now maybe the Giants will throw money at a solid hitter that fans can actually rely on in a late game situation instead of hoping some no name can come through as they have over the years.
The bullpen woes have been well documented by every type of coverage that can be done. It’s been well known the Giants didn’t have a closer and two were available at the trade deadline. One of those available got the final three outs to shut the door on the Giants’ season tonight. The other is in Cleveland and will be pitching Friday in the American League Championship Series. It’s time for San Francisco to realize what everyone on the outside knows; there is not a closer on their roster.
If the Giants had have somehow gotten by the Cubs and sketched their way to another championship, it’d probably be more status quo for the front office. Now they have to act. Maybe they can actually put out a roster of 25 major league level guys next season.
Until then, let’s hope for a Cubs and Blue Jays World Series.