We have to admit, when we saw the Giants’ lineup Wednesday that included Joaquin Arias in the No. 5 hole, MoreSplashHits was hoping the Giants could find a run or two somewhere and hope Matt Cain could do the rest.
It turns out the No. 5 spot was the wrong place for Arias. He should have been batting in the No. 4 hole.
Arias went 3 for 5 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI as the Giants beat the Dodgers to complete a three-game sweep in Chavez Ravine.
Is it too early to talk about magic numbers? If not, the Giants’ magic number to clinch the NL West is 36.
The win pushed the Giants’ record to 5-2 in the post-Melky days, even though production from left field in the past few days has been very limited.
Justin Christian got the start Wednesday, going 0 for 3 with a bases-loaded walk. Christian is batting .125 this season and does not have a hit in his last 18 at-bats dating back to July 22. He is in a 1-for-33 skid.
He is not the answer — or part of the answer — in left field, even though he had a sensational catch Wednesday, which you can see here:
Gregor Blanco looked like he might be ready to contribute again, going 4 for 8 in his first two games after Cabrera’s suspension. But he has gone 1 for 11 since four games since, including five strikeouts (which is most troubling).
If Christian is not the answer and Blanco is not the answer, then who is?
The Giants had Ryan Theriot take some fly balls in left field recently. Theriot has played six games in the outfielder in his eight-year big league career.
If Theriot is being considered, then what about Arias?
When Pablo Sandoval was on the DL last month, Bruce Bochy was asked who was his emergency catcher, with Emmanuel Burriss in Fresno.
Bochy said it was Arias, even though he’s never played the position as a professional.
Arias has played three games at second base, 24 at shortstop and 55 at third base this season. He’s a possible option at first, where he’s played five games in his five-year big-league career.
Why not give him a look in left field? He has only played one game in left field in 180 big-league games over five season. In fact, it was only one inning.
Arias’ game Wednesday was a career game. He managed five extra base hits and five RBI in June and July. He had three extra base hits and five RBI on Wednesday.
But it’s more than one big game. Arias has been swinging the bat pretty well of late.
Arias has hit safely in 13 consecutive games in which he has had at least three plate appearances, dating back to July 24. He was hitting .246 on July 24. He’s hitting .280 now.
He’s hitting .426 in the month of August. He’s 9 for 15 over the past five games. He’s got a hot bat. Ride it while it’s hot.