If the Giants kept up their winning pace of the last three games for a full season, they'd win 108 games. I don't see why everyone was freaking out.
Apologies to the folks who followed the Twitter tonight, because this is a repeat:
That's a pretty nice minor-league line. Nice strikeout rate, low hit rate. A fine season. That's what Cliff Lee was doing when he was 22. He was in A-ball, learning how to pitch.
This isn't to say that Madison Bumgarner will be better than Cliff Lee, or that he'll keep improving in a linear fashion because he's so good at a young age. It's just a reminder that it's really, really, insanely rare for a young pitcher to arrive as polished as Bumgarner is. Even the pitchers who grow up to be control mavens usually have an incubation period. Bumgarner can throw 93-mph fastballs with a deceptive delivery, and he can throw them for strikes. He's the age of a typical college senior. Or, he's the age I was in my third sophomore year, at least.
Even when the Giants aren't hitting -- when Orlando Cabrera is hitting fifth, Aaron Rowand is leading off, and the world is ending -- sometimes it's worth remembering that we're pretty spoiled. Some teams have to watch this kind of offense without the consistently amazing pitching.
And don't look now, but that Bumgarner/Heyward debate isn't exactly settled. This is because Madison Bumgarner is really freaking good.
For all of the crap that Bochy gets shoveled his way for his stubborn faith in proven players, Aubrey Huff really is looking better at the plate. He's walking more, striking out less, and driving the ball all over the place. If Brandon Belt is going to help this team as a starter, it's looking more and more like he'll do it in left field, and that includes next season too.
I'm not saying that Huff's back for sure, but you should probably get used to him starting for the rest of this year, and probably next year as well. So while he's here, you might as well root for him. Hard. He's a swell guy by most accounts, and he's a constant reminder that the Giants were this close to having another first-base dud and missing the playoffs last year.
Congrats to Chris Stewart. He's now tied with Manny Burriss, Steve Holm, Rajai Davis, Travis Denker, Felix Rodriguez, Scott Garrelts, William Van Landingham, Greg Minton, Steve Carlton, Guy Sularz, and Skip Pitlock on the all-time Giants home run list. Also, Mark DeRosa, but that's a sore subject. And wrist.
One more, and Stewart ties Cody Ransom, Brian Horwitz, Ruben Rivera, Shawn Estes, Ebba St. Claire, and Spider Jorgensen.
First major-league homers are always awesome. It's even better when it happens to a career minor leaguer like Stewart. That was fun.