The best team in Major League Baseball won again yesterday thanks to a dominant pitching performance and a great team effort offensively. The Giants beat the Minnesota Twins 8-1, completing the weekend series sweep of the Twins and winning their fourth straight game overall. Madison Bumgarner was his usual brilliant self, holding the Minnesota Twins to just three hits and one run in seven innings while striking out ten batters. Another big reason why the Giants were able to earn the win yesterday was the play of Michael Morse.
After having two consecutive injury plagued seasons, the 32-year-old Morse decided to sign with the Giants for one year, getting a modest $6 million. Thus far, Morse has earned every bit (and more) of that money.
While just staying healthy would have been an accomplishment for Morse, he has already exceeded the expectations given to him in the offseason. Morse has been an everyday player for the Giants, playing thirty-seven games in left field and ten more at first base. Morse has hit .279 for the season with 10 home runs and 33 runs batted in. He is in the top-10 in the National League in both homers and RBIs and in the top-20 in doubles.
Yesterday, Morse went 3 for 3 with 3 doubles and a sacrifice fly against the Twins. He scored one run while knocking in four, three of which came on a bases clearing double in the fifth inning to increase the Giants’ lead to six.
While players like Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, and Pablo Sandoval may get more attention than a player like Morse, he has been every bit as important to the Giants’ success as the former All-Stars he plays with. While he has started to slip a little from his utterly dominant performance in April, Sunday may have been the game that Morse needed to get him going again. With Morse playing his best baseball since his emergence in 2011 to go along with the other pieces that the Giants have, nobody should be surprised if the Giants are hoisting their third World Series trophy in five years come October.