The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 last night in Game 5 of the World Series, giving them their 4th title of the century. The Giants are second with 3, and last nights loss extended LA’s title drought to 30 years. It was a painful year to be a Giants fan, as they remained competitive for a little, everybody got hurt, and then a horror September sets them up for an interesting offseason. However, here are the three main takeaways every Giants fan should have going into the winter:
New Strategy is needed
The postseason was showing the new way teams manage pitching. Teams deployed openers, used traditional starters out of the bullpen, and relied heavily on specific matchups to get guys out. Why did the Giants never try and opener last season? Have one of Reyes Moronta, Hunter Strickland, or even Will Smith start the game off and turn to any of their starters. As a team that gave up a lot of first inning runs, the Giants could benefit greatly from an opener. This would put a little less stress on the young arms in the rotation like Dereck Rodriguez and could put the Giants in a better chance to win potentially. In a time in which there is no real direction, why not try something new?
On the other side of the ball, the Giants just need more firepower, plain and simple. The Red Sox mashed all year and had guys like Steve Pearce show up when they needed it. Of course, before all the injuries, the Giants had a fairly deep team; guys like Pablo Sandoval and Alen Hanson were incredible weapons off the bench. However, finding the durability will be the only way the Giants will be able to win games on any sort of consistent basis.
Big Bat or Bust
The Giants were almost comical at times given their total inefficiency on offense. Of course, injuries made the Giants look more like the AAA Sacramento River Cats, but there is no excuse. The team leader in homers was Evan Longoria with 16 (!!). For perspective, the Yankees had 5 players over 25 homers. With a free agent class that includes the biggest of bats like Bryce Harper, the Giants should go all in. Even in years of strife, the Giants could have a big bat in the middle of the lineup and work more about supplying supplemental pieces, something they have always done well. The emergence of the young pitchers and a still potent defense, a big bat around the current pieces might be enough to make things interesting.
Come to grips with a rebuild
As sad as it sounds, the Giants might just be awful. All the stars we know and love just might not be good anymore. That means that Madison Bumgarner will be sold for parts, along with many others in order to hit the reset button. Given the pedigree of the core, fans will have reason for outrage, myself included. However, once our pride can be swallowed, the Giants may decide to go a la Houston Astros and “tank” for a bit. These past two years have been rough, and it might be time to realize the one time dynasty is now a dystopia.