Saturday, May 14, 2011

How low can you go?

The Giants can really do the limbo, apparently, because they have gone lower than anyone in the league. That's fine in golf, where the lowest score wins, but not in baseball. The Giants have scored the fewest runs (132) in the National League. Even the San Diego Padres (134) and Pittsburgh Pirates (137) have scored more. The Giants OBP is .303, and only the Washington Nationals (.298) are worse. The Giants SLG is .367, better than only three teams. Can you guess those three? Yeah, they are the Nationals (.349), the Pirates (.347), and the Padres (.341). That's some piss-poor company, my friends.

So the question remains? How low can you go? We all know the Giants win with pitching, but you cannot win over the long haul with just pitching. You have to have at least a "league-average" or "damn-close-to league-average" offense. I get the whole Pythagorean notion that run prevention is better than run scoring. The 2010 Giants proved that. But the 2010 Giants scored 697 runs in 162 games, which is 4.30 rpg. The 2011 Giants are humming along at 3.47 rpg. If they sustain that pace they will score 563 runs which is a Padrean nightmare. The Phillies and the Braves are currently the two best staffs at preventing runs--both are giving up 3.27 rpg. The Giants are third at 3.67 rpg. Yes, that's right, they are giving up more runs than they are scoring! I may be a simple baseball blogger, but I can say for certain that that is not a winning formula. The Giants have had a nice run of wins in close, low-scoring games. And they will win a lot more of those games this season. But they will not win a title without getting some goddamn offense.


p.s. For the record, the 2009 Giants scored 657 runs, the 2008 Giants scored 640 runs, and the 2007 Giants scored 683 runs.


Zo said...

Didn't the Giants go to the playoffs one year after being outscored for the whole season? I'm pretty sure they did. Regardless, hitting is starting to pick up. The Giants are winning without much hitting (now 7 or of last 8), so what's to complain about?

M.C. O'Connor said...

You are correct--the 1997 Giants scored 784 runs and gave up 793. That season's Big Three were Shawn Estes, Kirk Rueter, and Mark Gardner. While these things happen, it's not what I like to count on. Check out the team history ( and you'll see that the team usually loses when RA > RS. You CAN win with no hitting, but it gets harder to sustain as the season goes on--remember 2009? The 2010 Giants got a makeover when it was obvious the bats couldn't deliver. The pitchers can't do ALL the work. The hitters have to start delivering.