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
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Should Major League Baseball recognize Ichiro Suzuki's 1,278 hits in Japan's Pacific League?
Total votes: 162
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 email@example.com. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
Key linksGiants scores & stats
A's scores & stats
River Cats scores & stats
Join the Discussion
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.