© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
No one expected this Giants team to be where they are at the halfway point of the season. At 57-32, they have the best record in baseball with two of the other top contenders in the Dodgers and Padres two and six games back of them, respectively.
The obvious question now is whether this is actually sustainable? Was it a flukey first half?
Given how unexpected this run has been, it’s made some harken back to 2016, when the Giants torched the league through the first half of the year, then struggled down the stretch, finishing 87-75 and losing to the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS. Their record at the All-Star break was nearly identical, at 57-33.
So why is this team different? Mike Krukow broke it down on KNBR on Monday morning.
Looking back on 2016, Krukow said he was constantly asked that season how the Giants were winning, whether it be by scouts, broadcasters or coaches.
“I’d tell them the same thing, ‘I have no idea,'” Krukow said. “And I didn’t. It just seemed like every break that you could get, they got. But you know what, I didn’t trust it. I didn’t trust it because I kind of sensed somewhere down the road, those breaks would turn and I didn’t know if they were deep enough talent-wise, to be able to be able to overcome some bad breaks. And that’s exactly what happened and they just kind of faltered and the second half was ugly.
“So now you know I get asked the question, ‘Does this team remind you of 2016?’
“Absolutely not. Not in any way shape or form, because what they have is sustainable, what they’ve done to win, how they win, how they go about their daily routine. The calm that they maintain in their clubhouse, that workman focus in order to overcome whatever break comes.”
In Krukow’s estimation, there are a few key things working for the Giants which is what makes their run sustainable, most of all that they take advantage of errors and free baserunners gifted to them by opposing teams. Here are some of what Krukow sees working:
- Making teams pay for mistakes, which has created a massive amount of confidence
- Grinding on the mound and at the plate
- Their defensive consistency; Brandon Crawford playing at an MVP level and the corner outfielders turning would-be doubles into singles
- The performance of Buster Posey and Curt Casali and their ability to frame pitches, “that turn a 1-0 count into an 0-1 count” and check baserunners
“All those things, when you add it up, it’s winning baseball, and it’s not going to go away,” Krukow said. “This is a sustainable thing. This is a confidence that is deserved, it’s earned and I quite honestly can’t wait for the second half.”
Listen to the full interview below.