Baseball is not a game of inches, it's a game of ifs, and no team is iffier than the Giants. You might even say that Candlestick Park is a veritable Ch‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¢teau d'If. Take pitching. The Giants have three former starters trying to come back from serious injuries. If Atlee Hammaker, the 1983 National League ERA champion, Roger Mason and Jim Gott can all make it back, the Giants will have one of the deepest pitching staffs in the league. If even one of them makes it, they'll have a fifth starter to fit into the anticipated rotation of 20-game winner Mike Krukow, promising Kelly Downs, former reliever Mark Davis and righthander Mike LaCoss. The bullpen is competently manned by Scott Garrelts, Jeff Robinson and Greg Minton.
There are ifs elsewhere as well. If Jeffrey Leonard can come back from his wrist injury, the Giants will have one of baseball's finest outfields. Craig, in fact, had so many talented outfielders in spring camp that he couldn't find a bad combination. The best would probably have Leonard in left, Chili Davis in center and Candy Maldonado in right.
The infield is one of the youngest and best in the game with Will Clark at first, Robby Thompson at second, Jose Uribe at short and Chris Brown at third. The only real infield "if" is Brown. A 210-pound bruiser who hit .317 and plays an excellent third, Brown is a constant source of exasperation to the Giants because of injuries.
There are no ifs, ands or buts about Craig, the split-fingered fastball guru who has instilled the old "Humm Baby" spirit into his charges. With that kind of enthusiasm, the Giants might surprise everybody, if....
Drove in 50th run in Giants' 66th game, but only 20 RBIs thereafter.
Is he the one? No Giant second baseman has been an All-Star since Davey Williams in '53.
Even though Candlestick generally deflates BAs, he hit .336 at home, .229 on the road.
Batted .348 in day games, .220 at night, largest difference in NL.
.355 career average with runners in scoring position.
One of four NL players to drive in 50+ runs after the All-Star break.
Career 3 for 28 with the bases loaded and two outs.
Most plate appearances (1,050) of any active player without a sacrifice fly.
Batting support: 5.09 runs per start, compared with 2.89 in 1985.
Opponents' career BAs: .195 by lefthanders, .267 by righthanders.
Attention Rotisserie-League scouts: led NL in ERA (1.74) after Sept. 1.
9 of his 13 losses were in games decided by one run, 3 more than any pitcher in the majors.
Has faced 1,668 lefthanded hitters and never hit one with a pitch.
Forget Incaviglia—Garrelts struck out 25 times in 45 at bats last year.