Maybe it’s the lowered expectations talking, but I was not terribly angry to watch that one slip away. For one thing, Lincecum was good and put his rough stretch another game behind him. For another, I’ve become apathetic to the failures of the Giant offense. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Giant hitters gotta fish for a first pitch slider. Finally, there’s just the fact that the Giants have been so amazing in one-run games that I just can’t get mad when they end up on the wrong end of one. The bullpen has been asked to pitch in an impossible number of innings with almost no margin for error. No bullpen can manage that trick every time. If you put them continually into a position where a squib and a clean single will end the game, well, occasionally that’s how a game will end. The baseball gods only grant a certain amount of one run victories in a season, even to teams with sick bullpens, and you can’t complain about how that has turned out so far.
So what I’m saying is: this one’s on the offense, and there’s no getting mad at the offense for stinking. Because they stink, and they aren’t going to not stink any time soon.There’s no real short term fix that can be done to make them stop stinking. Bruce Bochy has to fill out a lineup with eight position players, and he’s obligated to play at least two automatic outs, and he seems to feel that he’s obligated to spot the other team at least a third. Sure, there are things that I think would make them stink less – playing more Burrell and Bill Hall – but even those are probably marginal net improvements to the team.
But the Giants have hung around anyway. They’ve stayed on top of the division through some pitching, some luck and some Diamondbacks and Rockies not being very good. That’s a stroke of good fortune because the Giants can get better fairly easily. When Mike Fontenot returns, it will mean a lot less of either Manny Burris or Miguel Tejada and you can’t help but smile when you think about that. The production that the Giants have gotten out of catcher and shortstop have been so bad that reasonable improvements should be gettable for cheap.
This team isn’t going to dominate anybody. What they need to do, what they have done is just hang in there until the roster improves, either by recovery or acquisition.