San Francisco Giants: Contenders or Pretenders?

Brennan Cole, Staff Writer

The San Francisco Giants are indeed contenders once again. Though, for a two-month stretch in the middle of summer it seemed like the Giants incredibly hot start was simply a fluke. After weathering the storm of their epic mid-season collapse, Buster Posey and company have the Giants back in the middle of everybody’s playoff predictions.

After boasting baseball’s best record into early June, the Giants lost the National League West lead from the Los Angeles Dodgers and their $240 million payroll. Fast forward to the last month and a half remaining on the schedule, and the current Giants team seems to closely resemble the two recent World Series champion teams.

Since August 13, the Giants own the second-best winning percentage in the NL and have gained 4.5 games on the Dodgers.

With the shiny new additions of second baseman Joe Panik and catcher Andrew Susac, their bench has suddenly become one of their many bright spots.

Buster Posey has suddenly emerged as a dark horse for the NL MVP. For much of the first half of the year Posey raised eyebrows while posting less than impressive numbers and failing to make an All-Star team. He has silenced his doubters, putting together an outstanding second half, posting a batting line of .342/.394/.572.

Pablo Sandoval looked rejuvenated at the plate throughout August as well, posting a .336 batting average with 3 homers and 18 RBIs.

The starting rotation has been on a roll and Madison Bumgarner recently won his 16th game, tying Clayton Kershaw for the league lead. The ace of the staff finished August with a 4-1 record and a 1.57 ERA. Bumgarner said, “If you finish strong, we’ve shown what we can do in the postseason. I’m glad we’ve got the guys for that.”

Since 2010, the Giants’ overall September record is 67-38.

After being all but written off by many experts just a short month and a half ago, the now surging Giants have once again made themselves relevant. It will certainly be an exciting month of baseball for all Bay Area fans in these next few weeks, and we can only hope for some more local playoff baseball.