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What the Giants need to do to keep the streak going

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Will they do these things? Unlikely. But they should try.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

By now you’re probably tired of my relentless optimism regarding the San Francisco Giants current run of quality baseball. But I’ll repeat the details nonetheless, because I’m not sure how many more opportunities I’ll get to do so. Winning streaks are fragile, and must be cared for and gawked at respectfully.

The Giants have won six of their last seven games, outscoring opponents by 25 runs in the process.

They’ve also gone 18-14 since the start of June, which is important, because it suggest that the team is actually playing quality baseball that may be sustainable. But I want to focus on the 6-1 over the last week of games, because when the Giants emerge from the All-Star break cocoon, they’ll need to replicate that type of performance a few more times if they wish to re-enter the conversation of contention.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Absolutely not.

Here are a few things that the team needs to do, starting tomorrow against the Milwaukee Brewers, if they want to keep winning games at a great clip.

Continue to employ multiple clones of Barry Bonds

The Giants run of good baseball pretty much lines up perfectly with Austin Slater’s return to the lineup. During that time, he’s gone 6-14 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and two walks. His OPS has been 1.643.

But he’s not alone. The man who responsible for the juvenile chants that make us smile more than we should is also tearing the stitches off of the baseball. In that same span, Alex Dickerson is 6-17 with one triple, two home runs, and two walks, good for an OPS of 1.274.

Now let’s state the obvious: That won’t continue. Slater and Dickerson will regress. They’re not Barry Bonds.

But over the first few weeks of the season, no one had stretches like that. As Slater and Dickerson regress, Tyler Austin and Brandon Belt will need to heat up. It’s normal for good teams to always have one or two players who, during that particular week, are playing MVP-level baseball. The Giants need to keep having those guys.

Get big leads

Here’s the happy or sad reality, depending on your viewpoint. There’s probably nothing the Giants can do to keep Farhan Zaidi from labelling the team as sellers. Will Smith will likely be gone by the end of the month, which means there’s a good shot that Sam Dyson and Tony Watson will be, as well.

The bullpen has been the Giants greatest strength. Ultimately, however, bullpens are the least important part of a team, which means that San Francisco has a chance at not taking too big of a step backwards when they suddenly find themselves lacking their lone All-Star.

But the offense (and starting pitching) can help the team by building some sizable leads, the likes of which Reyes Moronta and Mark Melancon can happily hang onto.

Evan Longoria does the things Evan Longoria used to do

Slater and Dickerson aren’t the only Giants doing Bondsian things. Over the last seven games, Evan Longoria is 10-25 with two doubles, five home runs, two walks, and one of the most incredible post-Bonds home runs I can remember a Giants player hitting. That’s an OPS of 1.544, folks, which has moved up his season hitting to league average.

Now, Longoria has been on a steady decline for a few years. Will he kick that and rebound to an All-Star level? History says lol no. But history also says that there is a chance. It’s definitely been done before.

The team survives a clubhouse shakeup

Smith, Watson, and Dyson aren’t the only players on the trading block. Madison Bumgarner will likely don a different jersey this time next month, and perhaps Brandon Belt, or Stephen Vogt, or Joe Panik, or Kevin Pillar.

These things can shake a clubhouse. Bumgarner, in particular, has been synonymous with Giants baseball for damn near a decade. You don’t just send a player like that away without feeling a few aftershocks.

Those aftershocks don’t need to keep the team from playing well, though.