After getting blown out in back-to-back games in Cincinnati, the Giants currently set — before today’s game — at a record of 11-20. That’s a .355 winning percentage and it’s the worst in the National League. (The Giants can’t claim the worst winning percentage in baseball because both the Blue Jays and Royals have been worse.) The Giants have been terrible in their own special and frustrating way: at -59 runs they have the worst run differential in baseball.
The pitching has been “adequate” in the way that you could use a trash bag to fashion yourself a pair of pants and that would also be “adequate.” Sure, you would look insane but it would cover your legs and provide some kind of protection. Measuring the starting pitching and bullpen by retrodictors like FIP and xFIP results in the same conclusion: the Giants are around 15th in baseball in terms of pitching talent; that’s middle of the pack and even if it’s an underperformance, it hasn’t been the Achilles heal for this team.
That honor goes to the hitting. The Giants rank in the following offensive categories in all of baseball: (29th) team wRC+, (30th) isolated power, and (24th) walk-rate. This might be the worst outfield configuration that the team has used in recent history. Collectively, Giants’ outfielders have slashed .206/.287/.306. Going by weighted runs created (wRC+) the Giants have the worst outfield in baseball (64 wRC+). From the looks of it, the outfield got old in a hurry. Denard Span no longer looks like a starting major leaguer (he’s also old and hurt), Hunter Pence is 34-years-old and off to a slow start, and the Giants have tried to patch the outfield with a rotating cast of minor leaguers and warm bodies they have happened to come across. The team is so desperate to fill the outfield that it has resorted to shifting Brandon Belt to left field on most days. Brandon Belt is a first baseman in case you were wondering.
The Giants have seen 11 separate players log at least one inning in the outfield so far this season.
|Denard Span (10-day dl)||33||13||12||11||101.2|
|Aaron Hill (10-day dl)||35||6||2||2||22.1|
When Gorkys Hernandez has played the second most in the outfield for your team, well, that might not be such a good thing for the ol’ playoff odds.
So, the Giants are kind of a tire fire right now. But, just how well does this team have to play over the remainder of the season to have any kind of playoff hopes?
A data table below for your sad perusal.
(rW = remainder wins; rL = remainder losses; tW = total wins; tL = total losses)
FanGraphs and their fancy projected standings have the Giants at a .506 wining percentage over the remainder of the season. That works out to a final win-loss record of 77-85 — that would be the worst finish for a Giants team since 2013 when the team finished with a record of 76-86. The next worse finish after 2013 and you start wading into the muck that is/was the 2008 season. As currently projected, a 77 win season would place the Giants last in the NL West, which is something the team hasn’t done since 2007.
The Giants would have to play at a .575-600 winning percentage over the remainder of the season to have a chance in either the NL West or a potential Wild Card spot. Raise your hand if you think this team is capable of winning 60 percent of their games over the rest of the year? Anyone? Going down the table by winning percentage will give you an idea of where the team would finish if they played at said winning percentage.
I think the takeaway from this isn’t just oh-god-the-Giants-are-terrible-everything-sucks (which is true), but rather early season wins and losses count. I can’t remember how many times I heard the old phrase of: “It’s early!” from all directions when the team was doing so poorly in April. The point is that wins, and conversely the losses, count just as much now as they do in later months. Sadly, for the Giants, the hole that the team has dug has been so deep that they are unlikely to emerge from it anytime soon.