This Thursday Jonathan Sanchez pitched 8 innings, let up 3 hits and 1 run against the first place Padres.
The Padres came into San Francisco with a mere 1/2 game lead.
They left with a 3 1/2 game lead. The Giants scored a grand total of 4 runs in the whole series.
And Tim Lincecum was lucky to get a win out of the bullpen yesterday.
I know the Giants have climbed back to 1 1/2 games behind the Padres, but there's still stuff that needs to be done. The Giants need to shake some things up without blowing up everything.
I already talked about how they need another bat and a bullpen arm.
But let me throw a few more specific suggestions at the Giants.
1) Give Jermaine Dye a shot.
This idea is already being kicked around and it is all reward and no risk.
It wasn't that long ago that Dye was an All Star and an MVP contender.
Now all he has to do is outhit Mark DeRosa.
And if it doesn't work, it didn't cost the Giants any players.
2) And while you are at it, give Pat Burrell a shot.
Pat Burrell was dumped by Tampa and could be done. But then again, a player as talented as Burrell might be could get a jolt of incentive to show up his old employer.
Besides, he's only a couple of years removed from being a 30 homer guy.
And if it doesn't work, who cares? Tampa is paying the bills.
3) Just recall Buster Posey already!
It is insane that he is still in Fresno. The Giants have no offensive attack and they have a phenom batting .349 and a .999 OPS in AAA.
Look, he can hit. Why not see if he can hit big league pitching?
Oh yeah, he's working on his catching skills. Fine, stick him in the outfield or at first and have Bengie Molina take him under his wing. I am going to go out on a limb and say Bengie knows a thing or two about catching and could teach Buster... all the while the Giants, and not the Fresno Grizzlies, benefit from his swing.
4) While you are at it, recall Eric Hacker.
The guy is putting up terrific numbers in Fresno and yet at age 27 he's a little too old to be a prospect.
Why not throw him in the bullpen and see if he can get big leaguers out an inning at a time.
5) Make Madison Bumgarner the lefty out of the bullpen
Along with Posey, Bumgarner is the Giants top prospect. But he should be helping the parent club instead of toiling in Fresno.
Now Bumgarner is only 20 years old, so no doubt the Giants are going to baby his arm.
Well why not cut down his innings while facing lineups that don't know him yet? Lots of pitchers were broken in during the rookie year as relievers. before making the transition back to the rotation the next year. Jim Palmer, Jimmy Key, Orel Hershiser, Mark Buehrle, Adam Wainwright and Pedro Martinez all cut their teeth as relievers.
Bumgarner would love to have any of their careers (and so would the Giants!)
6) Consider trading top prospect Zack Wheeler for offense
I know you can never have enough pitching... but I think the 2010 Giants are in a unique position.
They have tons of solid young arms and they need a bat more than anything. And teams in the trade market looking for prospects want pitching more than anything.
I think the Giants can afford to part with a top pitching prospect if it means it can bring an impact bat to AT&T Park.
The Giants could sacrifice Dan Runzler, who looked good in early call ups. 23 year old Waldis Joaquin could also get some attention. But I thought dangling young Zack Wheeler could get the most back. The #6 pick in last year's draft was one of the top high school arms and has a big upside. And yeah, parting with a talent like that could bite the Giants in the behind a la John Smoltz with the Tigers.
But this could be one of those perfect storm years where the West AND the National League are both winnable and a pennant could be won. Sometimes a big prospect needs to be sacrificed to make the final push (think of the Red Sox parting with Hanley Ramirez and others to get Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell... they let go on a future MVP but won a World Series.)
Nothing I just wrote is outrageous and nothing involves tearing apart the rotation as it currently is set up.
Giants fans have waited 52 years for a World Series title.
This is a time to go for it.