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The first team to clinch a playoff spot did not yet have a hitter with 25 home runs. Brandon Belt and Kris Bryant led the Giants with 24, tied for the 57th most in baseball. Apart from Bryant, a midseason acquisition from the Cubs, their RBI leader after wrapping up a playoff spot on Monday was Mike Yastrzemski, whose 58 tied him at 96th most in the majors.
San Francisco’s starting pitching — third-best ERA at 3.43, entering Tuesday — has been great. Their bullpen — league-best 3.02 — has been even better. Their defense, led by resurgent shortstop Brandon Crawford, has been above average.
I covered the Giants for a few years, up until the All-Star break this year. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi finding pitching bargains has not been a shock. What has been is an offensive attack led by former stars supposedly on their last legs and a bunch of unproven pieces posting the sixth-most runs in baseball and crashing an NL West party that was supposed to feature the Dodgers and Padres.
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