Leading Off: It's time to look ahead for also-ran Giants
08/28/2013 12:00 AM
08/29/2013 6:53 PM
It's clear the Giants' pursuit of another championship is over and has been since the team was unmasked in June as a shell of its former self.
It was easy to think that patchy clutch hitting, poor starting pitching and an uneven bullpen would get sorted out, considering the heights the team reached in winning the 2012 World Series. But those weaknesses combined with a stumbling defense to shoot down any chance of defending that title.
Bad breaks? Sure. Sidelined leadoff hitter Angel Pagan was sorely missed. But poor performances hurt the team more.
The lineup was a forlorn outfit, shining occasionally with individual bursts but never coalescing into a dangerous unit.
So shake the dust off this season and pretend the final month is something akin to spring training: See who might help the team regain its sense of self next year and what holes must be filled with players perhaps not yet with the team.
It's clear what is needed: better pitching (starting and relief); better situational and clutch hitting; a fit, focused Pablo Sandoval; somebody to hit behind Brandon Belt and Buster Posey; and, of course, a left fielder.
Other suggestions are welcome.
What to watch
Baseball, A's at Detroit, 4:08 p.m., CSNCA: The Tigers' Doug Fister has given up two runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts.
What to do
Baseball, Fresno at River Cats, 7:05 p.m., Raley Field: The River Cats, battling for a playoff spot, have just two home games left.
What do the Giants need most for next season?
Better clutch hitting
A fit Pablo Sandoval
Someone to hit behind Buster Posey
A top-notch left fielder
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About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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