SAN FRANCISCO – It took until the final day of a truncated season for the 2020 Giants to end with a postseason contention that made the brunt of the loss to the playoff-bound Padres clear.
Farhan Zaidi later said, “This disappointment will inspire us to aspire for more next year.” “Being the playoff team next year will definitely be our goal.”
Almost no one believed the Giants’ president of baseball operations could achieve that goal, but his 2021 club has done so much more than that. With a 9-1 win over the Padres on Monday night at Oracle Park, the Giants (94-50) became the first major league club to earn a berth after the season and now have their sights set on even greater heights.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved,” Buster Posey said on NBC Sports Bay Area Postgame. “As far as regular season teams go, that’s number one for me.”
Expectations have been recalculated overnight in San Francisco, where a team that was projected to finish under .500 for the fifth consecutive season is now seen as a legitimate World Series contender. The surprising transformation begins with Zaidi at the helm, who in November 2018 became the organization’s top baseball executive and turned the Giants into the most consistent team ever with a long list of “smart baseball moves,” back to his introductory Promised press conference.
Zaidi’s propensity to make under-the-radar deals, which have had a major impact on the club, has shaped one of the most prominent iterations of any Giants roster, and Monday’s clincher to see its impact Have a look at the out of the box scores.
With Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto on the injured list to begin with, the Giants had four relievers in their first six innings against San Diego under Jadi cover. Two of those pitchers, Dominic Lyon and Zack Littel, signed minor league deals with the Giants in the offing, while another, Jerlin Garcia, was claimed exemption from the Marlins in February 2020.
Jose lvarez, the only member of the group to have signed a major league free agent contract with the Giants, agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million deal with a club option and with a scoreless outing against San Diego. Lowered your IRA to 2.38.
A lineup that scored nine runs in another blistering victory has Zaidi’s fingerprints all around it and it was evident as Tommy La Stella, the Giants’ top free agent in the off-season, scored the first of four home runs in San Francisco. launched. Padres hit to lead from the bottom of the first against starter Yu Darvish.
The Giants immediately added up against Darvas, as Lamonte Wade Jr., who was acquired in a trade that sent reliever Shaun Anderson, drilled an RBI triple, while Ivan Longoria, who owns a career-high .931 OPS , hit a home run of three runs. Which opened the game.
Mike Yastrzemski, who was Zaidi’s first breakout acquisition in 2019, hit his career-high 23rd home run in the fourth, before Brandon Beltt scored his 24th home run by launching just beyond the right center field arcade seats. – Improved high.
The mix of veterans who have enjoyed some of the best seasons of their careers, along with prospects affecting their progress at San Francisco, has enabled the club’s astonishing success in 2021, but there is another important factor at play.
It’s impossible to discuss the Giants’ unexpected boom without highlighting Zaidi’s choice of Gabby Kapler to succeed Bruce Bouchy, in large part because Kapler has hired an unconventional, inexperienced coaching staff to help manage this run. Deserves credit for making this possible.
A Giants franchise that struggled for power even during the best years of the Bochi era ended Monday’s game this season with 217 home runs, a National League high that came from the approach of hitting coaches Donny Acker, Justin Wieley and Dustin Lind. indicates a change in . Veterans and young players follow.
A Giants franchise that brought three World Series titles to San Francisco under Bochi boasts a deep pitching staff and strong defense, and the 2021 club is no different. With pitching coaches Andrew Bailey, JP Martinez and Brian Bannister guiding a staff that initially has four 10-game winners and a bullpen that owns the lowest ERA among the majors, the Giants scored at an elite rate. has stopped.
Bench coach Kai Korea, who is responsible for the Giants’ defensive position, has earned the trust of pitchers and position players by providing vital information, but also giving players like Brandon Crawford the freedom to go off-script when they see cause. Is. to do this.
Combining an understanding front office with seasoned veterans and hungry newcomers and state-of-the-art coaching staff, the Giants created a culture that enabled the 2021 club to rapidly recognize its blueprint for success. The Giants will blast the ball at the plate, hit the mound and receive contributions from every corner of their 40-man roster and, to date, that is exactly what has happened.
The season is far from over and ending the Dodgers’ eight-year rule over the National League West is their top priority, but the Giants are clearly able to turn that mission into reality.
There have been reasons to doubt veterans, who deserve to celebrate an achievement that no one saw.