Giants Acquisition of Mike Leake Could Help Them Catch the Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by just one and a half games in the National League West with just less than 60 games remaining in the regular season.

During the trade deadline frenzy of last week, the Giants were not able to land top names such as David Price, Cole Hamels or any other of the top pitchers that teams were dangling in front of clubs battling to reach the postseason.

Nevertheless, the Giants were able to get Mike Leake, and while headlines about acquiring him might not be as big and bold as other pitcher’s headlines, it makes good sense for the Giants.

The Giants tried to land both Hamels and Price but failed as their farm system is No. 27 and not deep enough. They could not match the packages the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers were able to put together to land Price and Hamels respectively.

San Francisco clearly needed another pitcher for their starting rotation. The team’s rotation is anchored by Madison Bumgarner their star southpaw stud. He has an ERA of 3.16 and 131 strikeouts in the same number of innings.

Chris Heston the rookie starter for the Giants has been a very good surprise as his ERA is 3.14 through his 20 starts.

Matt Cain was once the workhorse for the Giants, but had two offseason surgeries and has spent time on the DL already this season.

Tim Hudson is 40 and has an ERA of 4.80. Jake Peavy another veteran has pitched decently of late, but has spent time on the DL as well this season.

Bruce Bochy the Giants manager has demoted Ryan Vogelsong to the bullpen, while Tim Lincecum the former team ace has been shelved indefinitely due to a hip problem.

That all adds up to a good deal of uncertainty when it comes to a starting rotation, where the Giants have been strong in winning three titles over the past five seasons.

Enter Mike Leake. The former Reds pitcher is not a Hamels, Price or even Johnny Cueto, but has a reliable arm and should benefit as well from the trade.

At home in Cincinnati, which is a hitter’s ballpark, Leake’s ERA was 4.93 this season. Take it on the road and Leake changes sporting a strong ERA of just 2.28 away from Great American Ball Park. Leake is not a pitcher that throws a lot of balls that hitters miss, therefore he relies on his defense and the confines of the park.

AT&T Park in San Francisco should help him nicely as it is the second friendliest venue for pitchers in all of baseball this season.

The addition of Leake should help the Giants immensely down the stretch, the only things is can they catch the Dodgers who sport a much strong starting rotation with two guys named Kershaw and Greinke.

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