After last night’s 9-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Giants’ runs scored per game (R/G) fell to 3.5. That places the team 16th in the National League in R/G. The Giants have scored 395 runs this season. The team also ranks dead last or second-to-last in OBP (.303), SLG (.358), OPS+ (85), and slew of other offensive metrics that I won’t go into.
This being BCB, here’s a heat-map of the Giants compared to other NL teams. Cooler colors indicate lower values, darker colors indicate higher values.
So, a list of things the Giants don’t do on offense: hit home runs, score runs, take walks, hit for power, hit for average, and get on base. They’re in the positive for baserunning and fielding.
Prepare for brilliant insight: It’s clear that when the Giants give up nine runs in a game, they are going to have a really hard time (impossible?) coming back and winning. Last night marked the return of Jonathan Sanchez, who despite results, I thought pitched an OK game. It wasn’t a particularly good start for Sanchez, but he only walked two batters in 4.2 innings pitched. He gave up a home run to John Mayberry in the 4th on a pitch that was way down in the zone. Not a bad pitch, actually. He was pulled in the 5th with 85 pitches, he could have probably gone longer if needed. A couple of breaks and Sanchez’s final line would have looked better.
For most of the year the Giants’ pitching has been extremely solid, especially at home; at home the Giants’ pitchers have held opposing teams to 3.2 runs per game. Think about that for a second. The pitchers have essentially turned every team that plays them at AT&T park into a poorer hitting version of the 2011 Giants (3.2 runs to 3.5 runs).
The D-Backs dropped their game last night to the Dodgers and the Giants remain 0.5 games up in the NL West; so, there’s that bit of hope to hold on to.
On the topic of the brawl, I don’t think much about fighting in baseball. I generally think it’s pretty stupid and when I read cliched quotes from managers like this:
“[Ramirez] hit Vic and then came off the mound at him. Vic almost has to go, unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken,” Manuel said. “That’s the way baseball works. I’ve been playing for almost 50 years. He pretty much called him out.”
It only strengthens my opinion. From the replays it looked like Ramirez did throw directly, and on purpose, at Victorino. Minus one for Ramirez, but the whole concept of fighting in baseball is beyond ridiculous. Baseball fights generally turn into one big shoving match and then everyone breaks it up. And I don’t buy into the concept that it’s going to fire the Giants up, or fix any of their problems. For better or worse this is the team — on offense — that the Giants are going to try and roll with into the postseason. Aubrey Huff had an uneventful night, Eli Whiteside hit a HR but he’s still a back-up catcher starting, Nate Schierholtz has dropped around 20 points on his batting average over the past two weeks. Don’t even get me started on the Brandon Belt stuff. Like it has been over the past few years, right now, the pressure is on the pitching. If you give up four runs, you’re probably going to lose. This is Giants Baseball ™.
My request is simple: Please stop sucking and start winning more games.