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Young Giants gain confidence- ground in NL West race

By Paul Burgarino

The 1993 San Francisco Giants won a franchise-record 103 games, only to fall a game short of making the postseason. The 2005 edition of the ballclub by the Bay will definitely fall short of that plateau, but they just may have enough to possibly earn a trip to the postseason.Following Monday night’s 3-1 victory in Los Angeles over the hated Dodgers, San Francisco pulled to within 5 games of the idle San Diego Padres in the weak National League West.

The Giants have 25 games remaining, including six games left against the Padres, and what could be a crucial three-game set at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Even sitting ten games below the .500 mark, the Giants seem to have a lot going for them right now.

“We haven’t secured anything — we have to keep advancing,” said manager Felipe Alou. “We have a big run now to get to first place and I believe we can’t afford to lose now to stay in the hunt.”

Part of what has vaulted the Giants into contention has been the improved effort of their starting pitching.  Ace Jason Schmidt appears to have regained what he may lost have lost in velocity by being crafty and keeping the team in the game. Lefty hurler Noah Lowry has emerged as a gritty performer who battles the hitter. Young phenom Matt Cain has also been getting hitters out with his raw, nasty stuff.

Certainly a left-handed slugger with over 700 career home runs would make this improbable run that much more interesting. With Barry Bonds taking batting practice in Los Angeles, the Giants could be firing on all cylinders at just the right time.

Even veterans like J.T. Snow, Omar Vizquel, and Ray Durham are beginning to play like they did earlier in their careers.

One thing that cannot be overlooked in the Giants current success is the return of veteran closer Armando Benitez. The ability to know that a late-inning lead helps breed confidence, and the Giants are certainly beginning to gain confidence with every win.

Even if the Giants do not make the postseason, the fact that they were able to get their young players experience at the big league level should carry over into next season.

And for the first time in months, Giants fans are not thinking about what might have been and looking forward as their baby Giants grow up in front of their very eyes.

Who knows, maybe the key for the Giants to get to the postseason is not the quantity, but the quality of their wins.

7 replies on “Young Giants gain confidence- ground in NL West race”

comment Why did you post a nearly-identical article to your other one on here? You could  have just edited the other one.

Nice paul, that’s a good point about the quality of the Giants wins. If they can beat up on their division down the stretch, then they won the game they needed to win.

I am extremely excited about seeing baseball’s best hitter close to getting back on the field. With Bonds back, the Giants are not only the favorites to win the division this year, but next year as well.

you think Bonds is worth 5 games in the standings? Not just wins but enough wins to overtake SD?

I doubt it.

Giants makeup 5 games I can see Bonds being worth the wins to win it.  San Diego can’t seem to wrap this thing up.  Go Giants!

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