Who's Hot, Who's Not

The All-Star break is over, and we're back to business. Some people are in the mood to hurt Bud Selig right now, but more important than home field advantage in the playoffs right now is getting off to a good start during this short second-half. Who on this Giants team is steaming ahead and who's pulled the brake? Let's take a look.

HOT:

Barry Bonds
Barry, at age 39, is still going strong. The big guy celebrated his birthday on Thursday with a walk-off homer, no less. Talk about style. He also showed he still had it with a rocket throw from left to get the runner out at the plate.

Damian Moss
Moss, who is still effectively wild, has been much more effective in his past two starts than he has been in the past few months. In fact, he's won both, and despite a little worry, he's been good. Oh yeah. Toss in the statistic that he got the win over Curt Schilling, who was getting his groove on toward the end, and that's just another reason why Moss deserves to be up here this week.

Jim Brower
Jim Brower got what might be his last start for a while on Wednesday, and he performed admirably. Brower has true starter stuff, despite the fact that he's going back to the bullpen. Brower rarely issues walks, if he issues them at all, and is a valuable asset to the team, especially now, when he's just on fire.

Rich Aurilia
Rich may finally have gotten over that awful slump. He's pulling it out of who knows where, and he's owned quite a few pitchers this past week. He's had days where he batted over .500 – impressive, no? If Rich can keep up the pace, the Giants could be just as smokin' as he is.

Chad Zerbe
I frankly don't care what other people may think about this choice, but Chad proved himself a great go-to guy in the clutch with his start on Thursday. I daresay he blew everybody away by going 4 and 2/3 innings. Felipe even said that he would be in shock if Zerbe went for 5 frames, and he almost did. Many accolades to Zerbe for pulling through and keeping it close.

Jose Cruz Jr.
Cruz has 15 assists from the outfield and has the most double plays started by an outfielder: six. In addition to having a rocket arm, Cruz also possesses amazing acrobatic abilities, often making the Web Gems portion of SportsCenter. Yeah, he's good. Add to this the fact that his bat is finally heating up again, and this is a weapon that one would rather not mess with.

NOT:

Edgardo Alfonzo
Rich Aurilia has made a turnaround. Alfonzo has yet to do so. Despite his skill in placing the ball, Edgardo's batting average has been stagnant, and his glove has been less-than-desirable. He's committed many more errors than expected, and has been out for most of the week with an injury to his finger.

Ray Durham
Ray, the little man, gets little credit, but apparently he likes it that way. All the same, he gets some major brownie points in my book. Ray kept the Giants alive in Thursday's game with two home runs, and he continues to make some stunning plays. Despite his amazing offensiver performance on that one day, Ray's bat continues to be pretty darn ice-cold. Not a good thing for a lead-off man.

Honorable Mention

Jason Christiansen
Jason has made an amazing comeback from Tommy John surgery, and he showed just how remarkable his recovery was with a three-pitch strikeout in Thursday's game against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Christiansen simply continues to amaze.

Jesse Foppert
Dare it be said, but ‘the kid' has regained some of his old form. He performed well in six innings of work, and even though he broke down quickly in the seventh, it was good enough for the win. I wouldn't say he's going dominate at this point, but he did match a career-high ten strikeouts and held the game with some help from catcher Alberto Castillo.

Pedro Feliz
The day after Barry did it, Feliz followed suit, hitting another walk-off home run. Priceless, yet the utility man is not in the offensive form he once was, but it looks like a bit of a turnaround.

Jerome Williams
Williams has been up and down this week. In form during one start and having something slightly off-key the next. The kid's a phenom, no doubt, but every person and player has an off-day.



Amy Lew has been writing close to anything and everything for SFDugout.com since its inception. . A Giants fan since age eight (1994), she writes ‘Who's Hot and Who's Not,' does her fair share of special features, and serves an unofficial editor. You can contact her at paradisiapoetica@yahoo.com.

The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.

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