Something happened, though, after that 81st game. The Giants went 16-4. They scored 111 runs and only allowed 57. That's a 5.55 rpg average. Only four teams--the Yanks, Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers--average over 5 runs scored per game. On the pitching side, the number is even more amazing, which shouldn't surprise us as we know that pitching is the team strength. But how about 2.85 rpg allowed? There are six teams--the Padres, Giants, Cardinals, Rays, Braves, and Mets--that average fewer than 4 runs allowed per game.
The Giants aren't going to play .800 ball the rest of the way. But if they continue to hit well they are going to keep winning. The pitching staff leads baseball with a 127 ERA+ and it is second with only 365 runs allowed. They are third in ERA, eighth in FIP, and tied for fourth in WAR. They're good. We knew that. What we didn't know was that this team can score runs. That is a deadly combination. That is what it takes to be a championship squad. Here's a thought I had a while back:
If the Giants score 4.5 rpg (or 9 runs every 2 games if decimal runs bother you), they will win the West.Right now the team is averaging 4.45 runs per game, or right at the league average. Here's another thought I had (from the same post):
If we can find a way to get Mr. Upside Buster Posey into the lineup instead of Mr. Out-maker Bengie Molina, we just might have a league-average offense. Let's hope we figure out how to do that.Now neither of these insights was particularly acute or original. Just sound baseball sense it seemed to me at the time. So, I'm not going to jump up and down and holler about Brian Sabean and all that. I'm just going to appreciate what a great run the club has been on (thank you Messrs. Posey, Huff, and Torres) and hope they keep it up. No, they won't keep scoring over 5 runs per game, and they will go back to giving up more than 3 runs per game. But they just might have a lineup that can properly complement the great pitching. At least that's how it looks in July.