...Bochy lets fat Panda get hurt running the bases. Because if Panda and Lincecum stay healthy, the Giants may be headed for the World Series....and when you go the World Series, your GM gets to stick around for at least 5 years.
You may know me as the guy who posted the One Thing the Giants Will Be Good At-GIDP fanpost. Lok at my sig line. So I'm not exactly a blind raving optimist. But I played baseball in college, and some semipro. I've seen more than a few good teams come and go. I'm not just over-reacting to one game. The Giants have four good starters who will generally win their starts, given 3 runs of support. I have never seen anything like them. Have you? Most teams that win with pitching also have great speed and defense. The Giants don't have either one. That is a concern, but so far it doesn't really seem to matter, that's how good the pitching is. So call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think Zito's and Sanchez' gradual improvement over the last year indicate that they are for real. As for the other two starters, well, they're a given.
The question seems to be achieving the three runs, yes? The Giants are averaging about 3.6 runs/game now, with a cockeyed batting order which almost completely ignores the skills of the respective players. A couple hitters had hot starts, a couple were cold; now it's starting to get real. Nate and Torres have game, Bowker and Velez don't.
They pretty much get the idea of OBP now, even if they don't practice it all the time. Even I will admit they can't keep up this GIDP pace. If Sanchez and Uribe can come back and just play like they usually do, with what else is in the lineup, this team is gonna continue to score the 3-4 runs that are needed. if Bochy finally gets a rational batting order, and they go out and get somebody who can actually hit, come midseason, they may well score more.
There is little other real quality in this division. The Dodgers have Kemp, and certainly Ethier and Broxton are pretty good, but lost their best pitcher, and their hot young stud is still a couple years from being an ace, their ace has turned out to be ordinary, their Manny is old, their bullpen is sorearmed, and Russell Martin, well, he sucks. They can beat the bad teams or Wellemeyer 10-8, but they won't beat the Giants top 4 starters very often. The Rockies are okay but that's all. The Padres are improved but that is a good thing, since now they can beat teams other than the Giants. Dbags meh. Those guys aren't gonna hit our pitching.
The Giants will therefore almost certainly make the playoffs, barring an injury to Lincecum or Panda*. In the playoffs, nobody in the NL can beat the Giants, imho, because of the starters 1-3 (Timmeh, and whichever two of the other three are the best). Lefty Phillies? meh, we got two ace lefties and the Timmeh.
Bring on the fuckin Yankees. I'll accept the fact that Sabean will stay.
*Sandoval shouldn't be taking chances on the bases. He's not in good shape at all. He almost collapsed running 180 feet, (Kruk: "...he.started losing oil...") and then made that awkward slide. Think about it. He's a great athlete, sure....but if he's not gonna get in shape, the coaches shouldn't be waving him around. Let's get real here. The Giants can't win without this guy. No one run is worth the risk. The Giants were up 3-1, with nobody out, and Flannery almost killed the Panda.