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What makes Giants a 'really good team' in Girardi's eyes originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Giants hitters have talked a lot over the last couple of seasons about finding new solutions at the plate and having the right answer for whatever an opposing pitcher tries to do. That seems to be a trait that sticks out about their whole roster.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi, during an appearance on MLB Network Radio, said the Giants are "a really good team" and identified a theme that has stood out in their meetings. The Giants took two of three over the weekend at Oracle Park, just as they did when the teams played in Philadelphia in April.
"I think they have an answer for almost every move that you make," Girardi said. "Now, they might make those moves early and then they don't have the moves to make late, but they have really good platoon systems, their platoon guys hit for a high average, they hit for power. They have experience in Flores and Solano. I mean, they're really put together as an offensive unit (and) that makes it hard for you to really combat what they do."
That type of praise is music to the ears of manager Gabe Kapler and the front office that put this roster together. The Giants have prioritized depth and the ability to pinch-hit early and often to find the right matchups, and it's a big reason why they rank fourth in the big leagues in runs despite injuries to key contributors throughout the first two and a half months of this season.
Kapler has been particularly aggressive with pinch-hitters, using them 147 times through 72 games. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks (133) are even within 30 pinch-hit at-bats of the Giants. The Giants lead the big leagues in homers (eight) and RBI (24) from pinch-hitters, and Kapler isn't afraid to pull the trigger with two or three guys early in the game or in the same inning. He has made the "line change" a thing in the Giants dugout.
It's working, and it apparently has impressed the veteran manager who replaced him in Philadelphia.