The San Francisco Giants ended the first full month of the baseball season sitting on top of the National League West division with a 17-11 win-loss record. The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently trailing the Giants by a game and half. It is the Giants best start since the 2003 season. During that season they started 19-7, won 100 games but lost to the eventual World Series Champions, Florida Marlins in the National League Division series. This years’ hot start is even better than their starts during their last three World Series appearances when they started 12-10 (2012), 13-9 (2010) and 15-11 (2002). The Giants have had a steady diet of National League West opponents to start the year, playing 25 of the 28 games against their division opponents and winning 14 of them. Their only non-division opponents were the Cleveland Indians, who they swept in a three game series.
Offensive Player of the Month – Michael Morse was signed this off-season to a one year deal to be the Giants everyday left fielder. He is in his 10th Major League Baseball season and playing for his fourth team, previously was with the Seattle Mariners (2005-2008, 2013), Washington Nationals (2009-2012), and the Baltimore Orioles (2013). He seems to be feeling no effect from his off-season arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist, starting the season with a .302 batting average (second on the Giants), six home runs (tied for second on the Giants), and 20 runs batted in (leads the Giants) and has played in all 28 games. Prior to the start of the 2014 season Morse had a career batting average of .281, 79 home runs and 260 runs batted in.
Honorable Mentions – First Baseman Brandon Belt (.255 batting average, seven home runs, 13 runs batted in), Catcher Buster Posey (.264 batting average, six home runs, 13 runs batted in), Outfielder Angel Pagan (.340 batting average, 2 home runs, 14 runs batted in).
Pitcher of the Month – At 38 years old (will be 39 in July), Tim Hudson is in the twilight of his Major League Baseball career but don’t tell him! The Giants signed the former Oakland Athletic (1999-2004) and Atlanta Brave (2005-2013) last November and he has established himself as the Giants best pitcher so far in 2014. In six games, Hudson has four wins and only one loss with a 2.17 earned run average, 31 strikeouts, and a 0.74 WHIP (walk + hits divided by innings pitched). Hudson set a San Francisco Giants franchise record by pitching 30 and two thirds innings without issuing a single walk. Prior to the start of the 2014 season Hudson had 205-111 win-loss record, 3.44 earned run average, and 1,896 strikeouts.
Honorable Mentions – Relief Pitcher Jean Machi (four wins, 10 strikeouts, 0.66 earned run average in 14 games), Closer Sergio Romo (two wins, 10 strikeouts, 2.38 earned run average, seven saves in 12 games).
Can the San Francisco Giants continue their hot start? Sure why not! On the offensive side of the ball they are much improved over the past few seasons but will need the rest of the pitching staff (especially the starters) to step up. They are on pace for a 100-win season in 2014 and are looking to continue a trend they started in 2010, winning the World Series every other year! Only time will tell if they can continue the trend as it is a long season – GO GIANTS!