Friday, July 17, 2009

The 2nd half

88 down, 74 to go. Divide 74 by 5 and you get 15 more starts for Tim and 15 more starts for Matt. That's 44 starts for the other guys. Matt and Tim are a combined 20-4 in 36 starts. They've racked up 244-2/3 IP, yielding 199 hits, 80 walks, and 60 runs. Our lefties have amassed 276-1/3 IP, yielding 267 hits, 121 walks, and 154 runs. It is not surprising that they are a combined 16-23! Is anyone else concerned about our left-handed starters?

Imagine the Giants sustain the .557 ball they are playing right now. They'd go 41-33 and finish with 90 wins. They'd probably get the Wild Card with that record. If the Giants play .500 ball, a 37-37 record would see them finish 86-76. Very respectable, well above expectations, but probably short of a playoff spot. If we falter and play sub-.500 ball we will likely get passed up by the Rockies and finish in 3rd place.

So far we've been lucky: we have been healthy. We have also gotten an unexpected lift from guys like Juan Uribe, who seems to have temporarily solved our 2B problem. Pablo Sandoval has emerged to give us a genuine bat, something we have lacked since Bonds was let go. He's currently running .964 OPS (150 OPS+), that's Adrian Gonzalez/Carlos Beltran country! Even ol' no. 33 in the leadoff spot has produced an .806 OPS so far, pretty close to his career mark, and above average (111 OPS+) for the league. That's a nice improvement from last year. He'll have to keep it up for our lineup to score the runs we need.

The mission for the 2009 San Francisco Giants is simple on the face: keep on doin' what you're doin'! We've all been fans for too long to know that that is not so simple. The season is a grind, a long war of attrition, and those August road trips and September nail-biters take a toll even on the strongest and deepest teams. This Giants team is something quite different than we are used to. It is a pitching team! In the long history of our beloved franchise, we have always been a hitting team, a slugging team. This is a new kind of ballclub for SF. Let's hope that's the difference in the 2nd half.

(n.b. David Pinto at Baseball Musings gives a thumbnail sketch of all the teams. Here's his take on the Giants.)

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