By Patrick Karraker @PatrickKarraker on April 6, 2014
The San Francisco Giants have been very impressive through the first few days of the 2014, getting off to a 5-1 start while scoring 38 runs and hitting an MLB-best nine homers. Obviously there’s a long season still to go, but getting off to such a dominant start against two formidable division opponents, particularly on the road. Here are the five players who have been most instrumental in getting this season off to such a hot start.
This one is a tossup between Machi and fellow righty Santiago Casilla, who have both been fantastic through the first week, but Machi has been in more crucial situations. He threw 1.2 dominant innings while picking up the win on Opening Night. On Thursday, though he allowed an inherited run to score, he recorded an important seventh inning out and picked up the win in the Giants’ comeback victory.
Hicks has carried his white-hot hitting over into the regular season, going 4 for his first 9, including two doubles and a key pinch-hit homer that aided the Giants’ comeback on Thursday. He’s gotten the start at second base for the last two days and may be making a push to earn the bulk of the playing time at the position.
After a sluggish end to the 2013 season, Posey has come out on fire to start 2014. He hit a ninth inning go-ahead homer that pushed the Giants to victory on Opening Day, and his batting average now stands at .381.
Hudson looked like his old self in his first start on Wednesday, throwing 7.2 shutout innings while striking out seven, allowing only three hits and walking none. His exceptional control and calm effectiveness made him the Giants’ most valuable starter during the first turn through the rotation.
Morse has been effective before, but there weren’t massive expectations for him after a down season. So far, though, Morse has been the catalyst of the Giants’ offense, hitting .313 while being a huge part of the comeback rallies on Monday and Thursday and playing a key role in the domination of the Dodgers this weekend. Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt have been more impactful statistically, but Morse has been the king of timely hitting thus far.
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