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Hot Giants Cracking June Swoon Theory

June 18, 1990|NICK PETERS | MCCLATHY NEWS SERVICE

SAN FRANCISCO — How hot are the San Francisco Giants? Let us count the ways after a 9-7 victory Sunday.

* The Giants have won eight in a row, their longest winning streak since they won 10 straight from Aug. 3 to 11, 1982.

* They are 15-1 this month, their hottest streak since the 1965 powerhouse of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey went 17-1 from Sept. 4 to 20. That club won 14 in a row and finished second with a 95-67 record.

* Convincingly destroying the myth of the June Swoon, the Giants are heading for their best month in San Francisco. The record is an 18-5 April in 1971. The June standard is 19-11 in 1964.

* They have won nine straight at home, their best streak at Candlestick Park since the 1982 club also won nine in a row from July 28 to Aug. 11. The 1990 Giants lost their first eight at home.

* The Giants are averaging 12.4 hits and 7.6 runs with a .328 batting average this month. They have collected 10 or more hits 12 times in 16 June games, including 15 Sunday.

* The hitting frenzy has overshadowed a recent stretch of sturdy pitching. The Giants have posted a 2.65 earned run average over the last 19 games.

* The team leads the National League with 626 hits and 328 runs. No team is playing better against the West.

Things are going so well, in fact, that the giddy Giants are starting to believe they might have a better ballclub than the one that reached the World Series with a 92-70 record and a blitz of the Chicago Cubs in the 1989 playoffs.

The major difference from last year's team is the rise of third baseman Matt Williams, who extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games Sunday with two doubles and a single. His two RBI gave him the NL lead with 55.

"I'm in a pretty good groove," Williams said. "I'm getting some bloopers to fall in, too. It's not like I'm scorching everything."

Nobody expected such lusty hitting from Williams, basically a hit-or-miss slugger in the past. He is batting .474 (27 for 57) during the 14-game binge, with four home runs and 20 RBI.

"I'm having a lot of opportunities with guys on base," he said. "The most important thing to me is driving in runs."

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