And hold your own against the good teams--that's a winning formula. Tonight Matt Cain gets another shot at the stinkin' Padres. It's time we beat those pesky fuckers. This is a team with an OPS below .700--we're talking Pirates and Astros country here! They strike out a lot (306, 2nd in the NL) and they don't hit home runs (27, 15th). They do walk a fair bit (141, 6th) and steal a lot of bases (44, 1st), but that only translates so far to 150 runs scored (14th), or a bit under 4.2 per game. They've been pitching brilliantly, but having a worse offense than the San Francisco Giants is not a recipe for long-term success.
The Giants have played 36 games, that's 2/9 of the season. We've completed two innings of this nine-inning marathon (9 x 18 = 162), and so far I have to say the team has exceeded my expectations. I think the magic cut-off point for a winning offense is 4.5 runs per game, and the Giants have scored 158 runs in 36 games or just shy of 4.4, which isn't great, but it isn't terrible, either. Would I like to see a team that scores 5 runs per game (180 runs)? Of course, but unless we call up Buster Posey and trade Madison Bumgarner-and-change for Prince Fielder, that won't happen. But that club--with our pitching--would be a juggernaut! The starting pitching has been great, the bullpen not quite as dominant, it seems, as last season, but looking like it is coming together, and the defense has been solid. Freddy Sanchez will be in the lineup soon, and I must say I don't think the Giants will gain much. He's got no power and he doesn't walk. The team wOBA is .327, FSanchez' lifetime mark is .326! He's 32, his best season was 2006, if he hits his lifetime .751 OPS he'll be, at best, a league-average player. Ol' Boch, I've no doubt, will stick him in the two-spot and expect lots of bunts and hit-and-run plays, thus increasing the number of outs he makes per game. I think I'd rather give Matt Downs more of a shot, but he ain't gettin' $12 million.
Let's go boys, let's kick some Padre butt!