Scoring runs is hard…
Before Wednesday night’s game, the Giants sat atop the National League West division with a record of 27-20 despite a run differential of negative (-) one. But, we’ll leave worrying about that for another day.
They’ll have played 48 games after tonight. Prior to the first of May, the Giants had played 26 games, and they’d hit 25 balls out of the park. That’s a rate of almost exactly one per game. Not bad. They were probably performing as about a league-average offense at the time, plenty competent enough to stay in the race.
Since that time, we’ve spent a lot of time frustrated with individual players. We’ve disparaged Miguel Tejada. We’ve scoffed at Aubrey Huff’s horrible swings. These are justified reactions. But I assure you, the Giants’ struggles are a team-wide epidemic.
And so, they’ve played 22 contests thus far in May, and they have just nine home runs in those 22 games, or 41 percent of the time. So among the many problems they’re having, their complete and utter inability to hit the ball out of the park is a big one. Barry Bonds is crying somewhere.
You probably won’t be terribly surprised to learn that things are going better in Toronto. Jose Bautista has out-homered the Giants in May. He’s hit 10 home runs to the Giants’ nine. Oh ya, and he missed five games from May 2nd to May 7th. At the end of April, I wrote this:
Many people would have you believe that the Padres’ lineup is the laughing stock of baseball, a team so challenged to score runs it seems not just likely, but assured they will eclipse the 2010 Mariners as one of the worst offensive teams for a very, very long time. And yet, the only real difference between them and the Giants’ thus far is 8-10 home runs.
Don’t look now – actually, please look – but the Padres have just four fewer home runs than the Giants (30 versus 34). They’ve also scored more runs than the Giants. In fact, everyone has scored more runs than the Giants, with the exception of the Twins. The Twins have scored just as many (164).
The Giants’ two home run leaders are Pablo Sandoval and Pat Burrell, the former of which is out with a broken hand — we’re all too aware of that — and the latter has been pushed to a pinch-hitting role. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sandoval’s return cannot come fast enough. God help us if his injury robs him of the batting skills he was exhibiting before the injury.
The Giants’ sagging, drooping, embarrassing, lame and punchless lineup is in need of something. Anything.
Giants fans will recall their incredible run down the stretch last season, and how they hit big home run after big home run to carry them into the postseason, and eventually for a parade down market street. Now, the well is dry. Most nights, they must be one of the most boring teams in baseball to watch. I don’t want to admit that, but I must. There’s nary a time that a home run even seems remotely possible; it’s almost as if they’re playing a slow-pitch softball game and they’ve already hit their allotted amount, that the next will result in an automatic out.
I sure would kill for a bat flip or two, a slow jog around the bases every once in a while. If they can give us that, it’ll at least be a start. Something. Anything.