© John Hefti | 2019 Jun 25
The San Francisco Giants were one of the worst teams in baseball to start the season. Hell, they have been one of the worst teams in baseball since the All-Star break in 2016. But since June 1, however, they have been playing like one of the best teams in the entire league. On May 31 the team had a 22-34 record and were expected to sell everybody they could for assets, but on July 18 they have a 47-49 record after winning six of their first seven games immediately following the All-Star break. This hot streak has not only captured the hearts of Giants fans across the globe, but it has also thrown a wrench into the trade deadline plans of teams across the league.
The offense is mashing, the pitching has been lights-out, and the Giants have put themselves in a unique position as the trade deadline inches closer by the day. Will they still auction off their best relievers to the highest bidder? Will Madison Bumgarner continue to polish his unimpeachable postseason resume on another team? Or could this team add some pieces to make one last run for their retiring, future Hall of Fame manager?
MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian stopped by the Murph & Mac show on Thursday to discuss the Giants hot streak and their trade deadline plans.
“I am as big a Madison Bumgarner fan as anybody in San Francisco, for the reasons you mentioned and more,” Vasgersian said. “The reality of it is that this little winning streak that they’re in the midst of is perhaps the worst thing that could’ve happened to the Giants, because it hangs that carrot in front of you and there’s a little bit of that false narrative that exists now, that ‘What if? What if we go for it and win?’ It’s come together finally, Longoria is hitting a little bit, they have a battle-proven roster, older guys, Boch’s last year, let’s ride out the right way…but they’re not gonna catch the Dodgers. They’re not as good as the Dodgers, in fact it’s not close. The Dodgers are as well-balanced and dominant a roster as there is in baseball.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a stranglehold on the National League West with a 64-34 record, and they have a 14-game lead on the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks. The San Francisco Giants are still within striking distance of a Wild Card spot though, as they are just 2.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who they just beat two times in a three-game series, for the second Wild Card spot.
“The Cubs have underachieved and I still think talent-for-talent that’s a better team than the Giants,” Vasgersian continued. “I think that St. Louis is probably going to be buyers in the starting pitching market and wouldn’t be surprised if a Trevor Bauer ends up in St. Louis. Atlanta is good, the Phillies have underachieved but they’re still good, so where do the Giants rank in this? Do you want to sell out and try for that one-game Wild Card opportunity? Because they’re simply not gonna catch the Dodgers, that’s just not even a conversation.”
Vasgersian then went on to expand upon how challenging a situation the Giants are in truly is.
“I mean Will Smith, the sellers market is going to be very strong for relief pitching for sure. That’s what every postseason-ready team seems to covet right now, but again to talk out of both sides of my mouth, in 2010, if we were having this discussion almost 10 years ago and the Giants had an asset like Bumgarner…we’d probably be saying the same thing,” Vasgersian said. “Who would have thought that Cody Ross and company would come storming into the fall and lead you right to a World Series, so that part of it makes it tough because you could see a run, you could see them getting a Wild Card chair, winning that game, and then playing through to the NLCS if not farther. Look, I’m glad that it’s not you and I making these decisions, but here we are, in the span of about 45-seconds I’ve kinda changed my mind.”
Listen to the full interview with Matt Vasgersian below. To hear him discuss the hot streak and trade deadline plans of the Giants, start from 4:00.