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SEATTLE -- Though baserunning efficiency has been difficult to measure statistically, a respected sabermetric system affirmed that the Giants rank among the Majors' top clubs in that category so far this season.
According to John Dewan's Stat of the Week, the Giants are third in baserunning net gain, trailing only the top-rated Atlanta Braves and the No. 2 Oakland A's. Baserunning net gain considers a player's opportunities to advance on hits and avoid outs on the basepaths.
This directly reflects the Giants' improved speed, which has been largely provided by outfielders Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco and infielders Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias and Emmanuel Burriss. Ryan Theriot, not known for his speed, has contributed by seizing chances to advance from first to third on singles.
"It's a great way to create offense outside the batter's box," said third-base coach Tim Flannery, who handles much of San Francisco's baserunning instruction.
More traditional stats also demonstrate the Giants' baserunning prowess. They entered Saturday tied for fourth in the National League with 47 stolen bases and ranked third in the Majors with 23 triples, one fewer than their entire 2011 total.
"This has been a whole different style," Flannery said. "Guys are running very aggressively and at the right time."
Cain set for Letterman's Top 10 on Monday
SEATTLE -- Riding the wave of his newfound fame following his perfect game against Houston last Wednesday, Giants right-hander Matt Cain will appear on Monday's "Late Show with David Letterman" to deliver the host's Top 10 List.
Cain's appearance will be taped for viewing. He's scheduled to start that night in the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. But distraction likely won't be an issue for Cain. Just hours before facing the Astros, he drove a golf ball into McCovey Cove during professional golfer Dustin Johnson's long-drive exhibition at AT&T Park.
Letterman often invites athletes who experience sudden, dramatic achievement to read the Top 10 List. Oakland's Dallas Braden and the Chicago White Sox's Philip Humber both did so after their respective perfect games.