88-74, 3rd place, 7 GB, .543
At the ASB: 49-39, 2nd place, 7 GB, .557
Breaking the season into nine 18-game "innings" looks like this:
27 Apr 9-9
16 May 18-18 (9-9)
06 Jun 28-26 (10-8)
26 Jun 39-33 (11-7)
18 Jul 49-41 (10-8)
05 Aug 60-48 (11-7)
25 Aug 68-58 (8-10)
14 Sep 78-66 (10-8)
04 Oct 88-74 (10-8)
Remarkably consistent, wouldn't you say? Points out the value of run prevention. We were good at that. The San Francisco Giants only gave up 611 runs--tied with the LAtriners for the best in the game. That's 3.77 runs allowed per game. You keep games close, you give yourself a chance to win. We proved that this year.
We all know the flip side: run creation. We were abysmal at that. The Giants were 26th out of 30 teams in runs scored. Only Houston, Seattle, San Diego, Pittsburgh were worse. A total of 657 runs means 4.06 runs scored per game. For comparison, the Cardinals scored 730, the LAtriners scored 780, the Crockies scored 804, and the Phillies scored 820. (The Yankees scored 915!) The NL average was 718 or 4.43 per game. The Giants were the only MLB team with an OPS below .700--our .699 final mark was even worse than the Padres .701 clip. The NL average was .739, and you can't expect to win big if your offense is that bad.
The fact that we won 88 games is remarkable--I would not expect such luck to hold next year. The Seattle Mariners scored only 640 runs and allowed 692, yet they had a winning record (85-77). The Detroit Tigers are tied for 1st in the AL Central despite giving up one more run than they scored (738/739), and their co-leaders, the Minnesota Twins, have the same 86-76 record even though they scored 51 runs more than they allowed (811/760). Those two teams are lucky they play in a weak division. The defending AL champs--Tampa Bay--finished 19 games back with an 84-78 record and a +49 run difference! Bad luck to be in the same division as the Yanks and Sox. The Atlanta Braves, at +94, finished 3rd (7 back) with an 86-76 record. The Braves had one of the best pitching staffs in the game (3rd in ERA, 1st in FIP, 2nd in WAR) yet Florida won one more game with only a +6 run difference.
Like any stat, the difference between runs scored and runs allowed only tells part of the story. In the Giants case, I think we were beneficiaries of good luck in the middle of the season and ran into some bad luck at the end. If you want to beat Lady Luck, you need to score more runs. Let's hope we figure out a way to do that next year without gutting the pitching staff, the strength of the team.