With the 2023 MLB season almost halfway through, the San Francisco Giants managed their way to a successful homestand over the past week. The Giants have had nine winning streaks of ten games or more since moving to San Francisco in 1957, but none quite like the one they just had in June. Their most recent streak of ten games, five of them in come-from-behind fashion, has San Francisco brewing with excitement for the rest of the Giants’ season.
Despite some losses in the last week of June against the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Giants have maintained a top-three position in the NL West standings.
But how did they get there?
Rookies have provided just what the Giants needed during their winning streak. Patrick Bailey, who was called up to the major leagues on May 19, has been a mainstay at catcher for the Giants, providing a solid defensive presence while also contributing with the bat. Bailey was the 2022 Minor League Gold Glove winner at catcher, meaning that he was the best defensive catcher in minors. Since being recruited, he has thrown out 37% of potential base stealers, while the league average hovers around 30%. On top of his defense, Bailey has a .320 batting average with four home runs, which is higher than average for a rookie.
Another rookie who has made a sizable impact on the Giants is Luis Matos, an outfielder who has been a constant in the Giants’ lineup. Matos has hit to a .262 average with one home run. That home run, however, could not have come at a better time. On Saturday, the Giants and the Diamondbacks were tied, 5-5, heading into the bottom of the sixth inning with Matos coming to the plate. With a runner on first, Matos hit a huge home run into the left field bleachers to give the Giants a 7-5 lead. The Giants ended up winning, marking their 16th win in June.
In addition to the game changing rookies, timely pitching has paved a path to second place in the NL West for the Giants. Pitchers such as Logan Webb, who, at the top of the rotation, pitched six innings and only gave up two runs in May, carried that success into June. With 25 strikeouts from June, Webb went 3-1 and gave the Giants an opportunity to win every time he was on the mound.
Camilo Doval has also pushed the Giants to the top with his pitching, proving himself as one of the best closers in the league. Doval pitched in 12 games, giving up only two runs while converting nine out of 10 saves, proving quintessential to the Giants’ late leads.
Along with this new wave of rookies in San Francisco, a ride of excitement from fans stirs high expectations for the second half of the Giants’ season. The MLB season still has a long way to go, and until then, the Giants will hope that their thriving plays will drive them to victory.