Visit "All World All Sports"
The countdown to opening day has begun. Can San Francisco become baseball's first team to win back to back World Series titles in the new millennium? Winners in 2010 & 2012 has Giants fans believing they can win it all again in 2013.
Not much has changed since last season. The strength of this team lies squarely on the shoulders of starting pitchers. Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum, Vogelsong & Zito remained injury free last year. They accounted for every start except two. The only question mark on this staff is two time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum. He's was far removed from usual domination. His pitching motion isn't the same as Cy Young years and it's safe to assume more of the same until he corrects a major mechanical flaw.
San Francisco's offense usually doesn't da
zzle but they're one of the top clutch hitting teams when the game is on the line. Don't forget how they became champs. During the '12 playoffs they came behind from 0-2 NLDS and 1-3 NLCS deficits before sweeping away Detroit in World Series action. Buster Posey was the only hitter to connect for more than 20 HR (24). Pablo Sandival's 63 RBI were good enough for 2nd highest (Posey 103). A full season from RF Hunter Pence will to wonders for scoring a few more runs. However, this one key missing ingredient from their attack as power.
Another strength is one of the National Leagues best bullpens. Relievers get the job done. Somehow they're always ready to go. Giants pitchers only completed 5 of 162. One of the keys in 2013 is keeping these guys healthy. Manager Bruce Bochy seems to make the right moves at the right time.
Forecast: Champs remain the team to beat. NL West will be a dogfight from beginning to end. Expect many dramatic 1 run contests. SF will go as far as their rotation takes them. 2013 will be challenging. 88-92 wins.