Easy to Be Bullish on Giants - NBC Bay Area

Easy to Be Bullish on Giants



    First, the bad news: after losing to the Dodgers 4-3 on Friday night, the Giants are 0-2 on the season. Now the good news: it's still early and there's plenty to be optimistic about from the first two games, even if they were losses to a hated division rival.

    For starters: Brandon Belt. The rookie who surprisingly made San Fran's opening day roster has already lived up to the top-tier billing, hitting .286 through two games and recording his first career homer at the big league level, a casual smoke-job to dead center in the top of the fourth.

    "Hopefully I'll get it back," Belt said after the game. "Unless some security guard threw it in the trash."

    A bigger concern is the fielding through the first two games -- the Giants, with five errors through two games, look more like a team of over-40 softball rookies on defense than the team that just won a World Series.

    "No, this is not how we thought we'd open here," manager Bruce Bochy said about the fielding. "We shot ourselves in the foot. It's that simple."

    Indeed, five errors in two games -- almost all of which led to vital runs being scored -- will give that impression.

    Another point of problems so far's been Buster Posey's bat. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is batting .250 on the season, but left four men on base Friday night, ground into a critical double play, and also struck out while sending his bat flying into the stands.

    (No word on whether or not that was retribution for the Giants fan who was attacked by some Dodger folks on Wednesday night.)

    Again, though, there's still room for optimism. Posey will start hitting at some point; remember that this is his first April in the bigs. Jonathan Sanchez and Tim Lincecum have both pitched quite well during the first two games; if their early success is any indication of how the Giants will pitch in 2010, good things are in store.

    Don't sleep on the fact that closer Brian Wilson hasn't even been activated yet -- he's on the disabled list currently, and will only make the bullpen stronger when he returns.

    There's some cause for concern because veterans Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada and Pat Burrell are struggling with the bat, sure, but at some point, Huff will turn it on, and it's simply possible (or, perhaps, "likely?") that Burrell and Tejada are just weak links.

    If that's the case, though, there's not too terribly much to worry about -- the Giants strong rotation, deep bullpen and potentially potent lineup will make up for any early season woes.