This season was supposed to be miserable. It still might be. But, hot dang, if this isn’t a fantastic start, I don’t know what is.
Everything is clicking. It’s only been ten games, sure, but you can’t argue with the results. Matt Cain has had the run support he was lacking last year – 11 runs over two games isn’t a whole bunch, but it’s a definite improvement.
Obviously, we can’t expect Bengie Molina to hit .423/.429/.654 for the entire season. But he’s driving in runs right now, and he looks like a middle-of-the-order hitter. Pablo Sandoval – who shouldn’t even be on the team – looks like a mini-Vlad with his .483/.500/.586 line. He’s been a huge part of the fantastic offense so far. Aaron Rowand looks like he’s worth the money in the short-term, at least; more than half of his hits have gone for extra bases. And Randy Winn’s .432 average isn’t the biggest surprise – the biggest surprise is his resurgent power. Two home runs, two doubles, and a triple in 37 at-bats? Awesome. Let's hope it holds up so we can shut up all of the "Giants have no power!!1"-weenies.
The bullpen? Spectacular. Tyler Walker hasn’t allowed a run in his first four appearances. Brian Wilson did blow a save, but the Giants came back to win that game, and he hasn’t allowed a hit in his other five appearances. Jack Taschner hasn’t allowed an earned run yet. The returns are early, but the three should combine to form a pretty intimidating three-headed monster in the late innings.
The biggest ray of hope, though – the one thing that makes us think we contend – is Barry Zito’s early success. He went seven innings in the first game, and eight in the second game. He’s missing bats, and 60% of his pitches have gone for strikes.
What if this is the real Barry Zito now? What if he actually gives us value this season? Would he be tradable over the offseason? I don’t see why he wouldn’t be.
Great start, Giants. Now give us more.
You have just read a selection from the upcoming book What if the 2008 Season Started on August 15th, 2008, which will be published by Random House in 2015. The book is a harrowing science fiction novel, a thriller, a romance, and a cautionary tale for people who read too much into a week’s worth of games or so.