Red-hot Giants win sixth straight, finish first half in playoff position

On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick talks about the Giants’ sweep of the Diamondbacks over the weekend. The Giants’ win on Sunday was their sixth straight, and they are now just two games under .500 and in one of the eight National Leauge playoff positions. The postseason was expanded to 16 teams in this pandemic-shortened season, and the Giants may be poised to take advantage. Despite people writing them off from day one, the Giants have performed much better than most expected. The offense and the starting pitcher has been a real strength. If it weren’t for some extremely unlikely 9th-inning collapses, the Giants would be a winning team, perhaps even as good as 17-13.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler deserve much of the credit. Zaidi has built a roster that is flexible and able to generate consistent favorable matchups. Kapler and his coaching staff have gotten the most out of their position player mix. Zaidi also built a starting staff that has exceeded expectations despite the highly criticized loss of Madison Bumgarner in free agency. Bumgarner has not pitched well for the D-backs and is on the injured list. In his place, free agent signings Kevin Gausman, Tyler Anderson (who was claimed off waivers, non-tendered, then signed), Trevor Cahill, and Drew Smyly have pitched very well. Logan Webb has taken a step forward and pitched beautifully on Friday. Anderson threw a complete-game on Saturday. Cahill was excellent on Sunday.

All the while, Mike Yastrzemski has continued to play like an MVP. He homered on his 30th birthday yesterday, and made a sensational, run-saving catch in a tie game on Saturday. And the youth is coming. Joey Bart continued to play well over the weekend, and the Giants have a stable of young prospects waiting to come up in the coming years ahead. Despite all the criticism this team has taken under Zaidi and now Kapler, fans and media alike are finally seeing the new positive direction of this team.

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