By John Shea @real_johnshea on July 30, 2014
After getting swept at home by the rival L.A. Dodgers and dropping the first two games of a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Giants are headed for yet another midsummer disaster. San Francisco's inability to score has crippled their chances of remaining competitive in the NL West. They've been shut out 12 times on the season and have scored just six runs in their last six games, forcing GM Brian Sabean to stand pat.
Leadoff hitter Angel Pagan is supposedly gearing up for a rehab stint, but he hasn't played since June 15 and likely isn't capable of matching early season production (.307 avg.) if he does return from the DL. Pagan is a catalyst for the Giants, although the team had already begun to encounter numerous struggles before his absence. The void that Pagan's back injury created has proven insurmountable for the Giants.
Michael Morse was a big reason for the Giants' early season success, but he has managed to blast just two home runs since June 5. The Giants ranked near the top of league in home runs for most of the first half but have succumbed to a continued power outage and don't seem capable of scoring more than two runs on any given night. Their sudden lack of ability to hit with two outs has also diminished their chances of winning in the worst way.
Staff ace Madison Bumgarner has been solid for most of the 2014 campaign, but recently he coughed up four first-inning runs in a 5-0 loss against Pittsburgh in front of a lackadaisical home crowd. MadBum had previously allowed just six first-inning runs on the entire season. His win total of 12 leads the staff, but the relative inconsistency from guys like Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong is discouraging. A deadline deal just won't be enough.
The Giants' glaring lack of bench depth was a noticeable problem at the onset of Spring Training. As injuries have piled up, the Giants' outrageously defunct bench problem has risen to cataclysmic heights. They simply don't have the talent at the bottom of their roster to make a serious push for another World Series title. Gregor Blanco has been a joke of a fill-in for Pagan whereas utility-man Joaquin Arias has legitimately forgotten how to hit.
If the Giants were to pull the trigger on a deadline deal to bolster their offense, they'd likely have to part with a top prospect, possibly future staff ace Kyle Crick. San Francisco has been linked to several players presumed to be available on the trade front, namely Ben Zobrist and Marlon Byrd, but the Giants gaping holes across the 25-man roster can't be fixed by plugging in a single rental player. The Giants just aren't good enough in 2014.
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