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Are the Giants in trouble now that Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett have landed with the Dodgers?

Are you kidding me with that question? Of course the Giants face an uphill battle now that the Dodgers have a lineup that was solid with the addition of Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez, let alone Adrian Gonzalez.

Still, the games need to be played. Nothing is conceded with offense alone - and the Giants still have better starting pitching, and relief. 

With Josh Beckett, the tide might have turned. Beckett, along with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, do give the Dodgers three solid starters down the stretch, on top of an offense that will have zero trouble scoring runs.

Fans and local media keep trying to sell (and compare) the fact that the Giants didn’t need huge stars or additions to beat (and shutdown) the Rangers in the World Series in 2010, why should they worry now.

We should worry. The Dodgers really are that good now.

The Giants need a guy like Brandon Belt to step up and start coming into his own. Something. Someone. We need someone to breakout and be the added addition that will help the Giants win the division.

And would it be too much to ask Tim Lincecum to be better than Chad Billingsley? Silly question, I know.

I’m optimistic the Giants are playing good enough baseball to stay in contention during the last week of the season. But there’s no denying it, the Dodgers made power moves over the weekend that shook the city like an earthquake.

Only time will tell, but kudos to the Dodgers for trying to win this season. If they don’t, we’ll only have more to rub in their faces.

Angel Pagan is taking the reigns in the clubhouse

Angel Pagan is doing more than batting .353 in the month of August, and .405 in his last 10 games. He’s finally coming out and displaying leadership in a dugout that needed a spark.

There seems to be a fire in the clubhouse after the Melky Cabrera debacle. Someone needed to act like the team was going to survive without Melky. And by survive, I mean not rolling over and giving the division to the Dodgers. Pagan and Scutaro have been that fire.

While watching the game the other night from LA, I saw Pagan giving Gregor Blanco an intense talk in the outfield before the inning began. Something was different about Pagan that I haven’t seen in him. Perhaps he saw a role to be filled once Melky’s departure became a reality? 

Pagan has been explosive at the plate in the leadoff position. It’s the first time in many years the Giants have had a solid 1-2 start to a lineup. I now expect the Giants to have runners on early in the game. The expectation that was once low of scoring more than three runs, while stealing numerous bases in a game, is reality. Mainly because of Angel Pagan - the guy I questioned in the offseason about having heart, is living up to his so-called potential.

Pagan is dangerous right now, playing disciplined, smart baseball. And his leadership is filling a void the Giants needed filled. 

At this stage, the Giants shouldn’t go after anyone but a starting pitcher

I read a Tweet this morning from KNBR radio host,Marty Lurie, who wrote, “SF needs an OF how about Dejesus from Cubs?”

How about NOT, Marty?

The Giants are moving past losing Melky Cabrera and the last thing they need to do is panic. They need to build team chemistry, and roll with the guys they have.  At this stage, it could only build more confusion in the clubhouse, adding to the Melky frustration.

What the Giants need is a starting pitcher. They need someone to be the #3 starter. Or four. There is no way the Giants can trust Timmy or Barry Zito down the stretch, or come October if they get into the playoffs.

As we witnessed last night with Madison Bumgarner’s outstanding start at Chavez Ravine, the Giants need sound pitching. And one more solid starter will help their cause.

Sorry, Marty. David Dejesus is not needed in San Francisco.

I’m sorry for my bashing of the Brandon boys

In light of Melky Cabrera being a foolish cheater, It made me turn my attention toward other players, and how they could be an intricate piece to the Giants succeeding this season. 

I was wrong about Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. Both of these players I’ve been overly critical toward this season, with an expectation far exceeding who they really are as players at this stage in their career. And humbly, I’m sorry.

The Giants don’t need either player to be a star right now. All they need to do is contribute, and they have. An assumption they should be better than they are isn’t entirely fair, or is it true. For what they’re being paid, is exactly what the Giants are getting from them: a solid contributor. 

No, not a star. Not someone that’s belting 30+ HR’s. San Francisco is getting two young guys that having been working hard at their game - and by all means, they have gotten better this season.

Crawford has been solid at the shortstop position, and hasn’t opened his mouth at all after constantly having to share the position with Arias. He’s a humble guy who’s slowly started to adjust to MLB pitching. And that’s ok, because he’s doing exactly what the Giants are paying him to do, which is controlling the infield.

Brandon Belt can be a great hitter, which is why I get so frustrated watching the guy at the plate. He’s super-streaky, and consistently lacks patience. Unlike Crawford, Belt seems to beat himself up more, which tends to only put him in a deeper slump. 

Now is the time to embrace these two young players as the future of the organization. They will be tried and tested in the last month of the season trying to win the division. Bochy, along with fans, will look for them to step up to the next level. Both have the ability to meet every expectation of fans and the organization, but we (including myself) need to understand these guys are both still young, but do bring a lot of value to the organization.

Let Panda, Buster, Pagan, and the rest of the guys making big paychecks take the brunt of the criticism if the Giants fall short. Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford are filling their role nicely with the Giants. I lost sight of this for awhile, but have now seen the error in my gross expectation of each player.