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Editor's note: Throughout August, ESPN.com is taking a close look at various teams in the hunt for a playoff spot to assess whether they have what it takes to survive the dog days of August and remain in contention come October.
At the bottom of the page, each team receives a dog bone rating based on our overall analysis: five bones = serious postseason contender; four bones = good contender; three bones = average contender; two bones = poor contender; one bone = no contender.
It's hard to imagine where the Giants would be without Torres. The speedy 32-year-old center fielder has appeared in a career-high number of games (111) and has been a tremendous benefit to the Giants in all aspects of the game. If you like hitting, Torres has it covered. His current weighted on-base average (wOBA) of .382 ranks fifth among all qualified NL outfielders. The advanced fielding metrics (UZR, plus/minus) adore his defense, indicating that he has incredible range. He's also a threat on the basepaths (23 steals versus seven times caught stealing). He's been incredible, so what more can you say?-- Chris Quick (Bay City Ball, SweetSpot Blog Network)
This isn't how Sandoval expected things to go. Coming off an All-Star-caliber season in 2009, he has been spinning his tires for most of 2010. His current wOBA (.308) is nearly 90 points below last season's output. Most shocking has been Sandoval's complete lack of power. His slugging percentage has plummeted all the way to .394 from .554 in '09. Sandoval's range at third base has also looked subpar at times. If the Giants can somehow find the Sandoval of old over the next six weeks, the team will be in a much better position to contend for the playoffs. If not, the Giants might miss the cut for the seventh straight season.-- Chris Quick (Bay City Ball, SweetSpot Blog Network) The 2010 Giants, just as the 2009 Giants were at this point, are in the mix for the NL wild card. Unlike last year, however, Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval aren't most responsible for where they are in the standings. Both players have failed to produce at the same rate. Instead, a couple of unexpected 30-somethings (Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres) and a hot-shot rookie (Buster Posey) have led the way.
-- Kenton Wong, ESPN Stats & Info blog
Considering all that's gone wrong with the San Francisco Giants (especially of late), it's a small miracle the team is still in contention. Heading into 2010, the Giants' outfield was supposed to feature Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand, and Nate Schierholtz. The trio was projected to provide only adequate offense but above-average defense -- DeRosa and Rowand would each save about three runs over the course of a season, and Schierholtz about seven runs -- in support of the Giants' extreme fly ball-pitching staff. Unfortunately, the trio only started three games together.For more of BIS's analysis, click here .