Three keys for success:
-Continue to do what’s worked: Throughout their current “dynasty,” the Giants have never been a power-hitting team, but a team that can hit for average and get the key hit when needed. Despite losing their main power source in Pablo Sandoval and even Michael Morse, there’s no reason that anyone in that Giants lineup should try fill that void. The minute this team goes away from their game is the minute everything begins to go downhill.
-Rotation needs to be able to support Bumgarner: While everyone in the country will be watching to see how the NLCS and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner follows up his postseason gem, the rest of the Giants rotation has to be able to do their job in 2015 – meaning that a guy like Matt Cain can’t go 2-7 on the season, or Tim Hudson can’t have another losing season. Tim Lincecum can’t have an ERA above 4.00 (especially if he wants to keep his job).
Bumgarner threw 270 innings between the regular season and the postseason and had one less month to rest in the offseason. To put that in perspective, after Cole Hamels threw 262 1/3 innings during the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series run, he had the worst year of his career in 2009.
-Don’t think about a repeat: Not that the Giants are thinking about repeating as World Series champions in 2015, this team hasn’t been able to repeat as World Series champs the year after winning their last two, thus the “even-year” theory. Giants fans, and the team themselves, have to just let the chips fall where they may, as they do throughout the season. Expecting a repeat could result in the same disappointment as it has in 2011 and 2013.
Next: 2015 season predictions