Monday, June 9, 2014

Like Morse, just enjoy the ride

There's really something to be said for being able to totally relax and enjoy what's going on around you. It's the way you feel on vacation, the way you feel when you gaze out at something beautiful with nowhere to be; your phone only making an appearance to take a picture because there's no service anyway.

It's an odd feeling-- almost surreal when it happens. But it just feels right.

That's the way I'm feeling when watching the Giants these days-- like I don't have a friggin care in the world and nowhere to be.

That's how good they've been.

Hell, even ESPN has noticed. That's how good they've been.
It's been awhile since my last post, partly because there's been no controversy, barely any conflict or poor decisions being made. It almost seems... do I dare say... easy.

In that last post, I wrote that the Giants would be alright without Brandon Belt. Not only have they been alright, they've hit some sort of zone, that can only be enhanced by Belty's return in a couple weeks.

It's difficult to even imagine that they'll be regaining another bat with superb defense when the current lineup has been so successful.

So much of that success can be attributed to Mike Morse and everything he does. He's played an admirable first base and left field, has absolutely raked the ball, and you can just tell, has had a huge impact on the Giants' clubhouse. He's having fun playing baseball and I'm having fun watching him.

It's unfortunate that he's only on a one year deal, because whatever magic Mike has brought to the clubhouse (see what I did there?) and to the lineup, I don't want it to end. Pay the man immediately.

Currently Morse ranks in the top 20 in all of MLB in HR, RBI, Slugging %, and OPS-- something this team has needed for years and years. Curiously though, for you Saberjerks, Morse is only a 0.9 WAR.

See, this is why I have a problem with that stat. It's not an end all be all, and there's exceptions to the rule. I won't go off on a huge tangent, but to say that Mike Morse has only been worth one extra win to this team is beyond absurd. He's been a shot of adrenaline into this lineup and a shot of tequila in the clubhouse. Plus he did this on Stan Lee / Superheroes Night. Hulk status.

There of course have been others that have been amazing additions this season-- most notably the ageless Tim Hudson, who has pitched like a Cy Young candidate. However, there's one other guy that has essentially been an addition that I'd like to talk about.

Ryan Vogelsong.

Is he an addition? You betcha. Yah. *Fargo voice*

He may not be a new face around these parts, but Vogey's resurgence to an effective, chainsaw-angry member of the rotation has been huge, especially due to Cain's uneven season and Lincecum, well... being Lincecum.

Vogey currently sports a 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, with 7 of his 12 starts have been "quality".

His starts have been such a far cry from what we all expected from him, that's it's just gravy. I can't say for sure that he'll be able to keep this up all season, but his efforts have been absolutely huge so far. You could even argue he's been more helpful to the cause than Matt Cain, which is crazy. If Vogey keeps this up, even remotely close to what he's done thus far, the Giants' rotation will outperform expectations all season.

Outperforming expectations has been the name of the game so far, and it's just been plain fun to watch. Posey and Panda have hit rough patches this year at different times, but they've evened out. The Giants keep winning. Pence had a rough start. They win anyway. Belt goes down? No problem. Cain on the DL? Whatever. Buster and Pagan need days off? Oh well, they win without them. Blanco gets some starts? He's a catalyst all the sudden.

It's just insanity.

It's remarkable too how Bruce Bochy has been able to work guys in and out of the lineup lately without much consequence in the win column. It all just works out... and believe me, I've noticed.

Right after Lincecum gave up that first HR to Granderson:

That brings me back to my opening paragraph. You just need to sit back and enjoy the scenery. 21 games over .500 on June 8th is crazy, and it been thoroughly fun.

Part of my ability to just sit back and enjoy this is because we have those two big trophies from 2010 and 2012. Just as the second trophy validated the first, this great start is on its way to validating those other years.

When we won that 2nd World Series, it felt different than the first one. The first one was insane... even with a commanding series lead over Texas, it was gut-wrenching and nail-biting until that final out. With the second one, a feeling a confidence swept over me after we won the first two games. Because even if something bad happened and they blew it, we'd always have 2010. I was able to drink and joke with people against the Tigers without having to get a referral to a cardiologist. It was just plain more fun.

Now, back in an even year, those first two trophies are the Fort Knox full of gold bars that backs up this 2014 currency. I'm able to enjoy it more because I still feel like we're playing with house money. And that my friends, is priceless.

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