Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thank goodness for the little things

At least the Giants had the good grace to collapse early enough in the second-half of the season so that we weren't on pins-and-needles until the bitter end. My gosh, the epic face plants by the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox will be talked about for years. The Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame the largest deficits in playoff history! The Sox had the Orioles down to their final strike with no one on base and lost. The Rays were down 7-0 and won. The Phillies came back in the 9th to tie the Braves and won in extras while the Cards got a shutout from their ace. If the Giants had put us through a September like that (Sox 7-20, Braves 9-18) we'd have gone insane. The Braves lost their last five games! The Sox lost their last eight series! I suppose nothing will ever be worse than watching the Giants lose Game Six in 2002--that still gives me the heebee-jeebees. But the Braves were 8-1/2 games ahead and the Sox were nine up at the start of the month. Imagine if that had been the Giants!

Giants go 11-7 in their final inning which included an eight-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak. The season goes 10-8, 10-8, 9-9, 10-8, 11-7, 11-7, 6-12, 8-10, and 11-7 for a grand total of 86-76. They out-perform their Pythagorean record of 80-82 because Bruce Bochy is a genius or they got to play Colorado (13-5) and San Diego (12-6) a lot. Either reason works for me. The Giants scored 570 runs--total--in 162 games which is one of the "little things" I was talking about (3.52 rpg). Man, that's some feeble offense. The 1985 (62-100) Giants scored 556 runs. The only other seasons that were worse since the team moved west were 1994 (504) and 1981 (427). Those "seasons" only lasted 115 and 111 games apiece. Last year's offensive juggernaut rolled out 697 runs! What mashers!

The 2011 club misses the playoff by four lousy games (Cards finish 90-72) despite the horrible hitting. FOUR GAMES! Just for fun, pick out your four favorite games that they "shoulda won." I'll start. How about Tim Lincecum's four losses to Clayton Kershaw?

Your turn.



Brother Bob said...

Wow, what shocking finishes to the wild-card races. To be eliminated that way would have been way worse than what happened to us.
The Cards are super-hot. I like their chances.
Anybody but the Yankees and Phillies.
Four games we coulda-shoulda won? I can't really put my finger on that exactly. There were so many games where good pitching was wasted. I know that early on there were lots of games we shoulda lost but managed to squeak out wins. That was fun while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. But if one looks closely at the giants offense, even without Posey, they hit well within the upper half of the pack on the road. They were just horrible at home, yet they had a winning record at home and not on the road. The hitting at home was a disaster but the pitching was phenomenal except for a few games. The pitching on the road, was good but not great. Last year the giants struggled vs the west but beat up on everyone else. This year they handled the west but could not beat up on meager NL central and NL east teams. I'm just not sure what to make of the hitting. Bochy has to find a way for these guys to score at home without Barry Bonds in the lineup. The loss of Posey was especially large, as his replacement catchers just could not hit on the major league level. If you add an 0 for to pablo to make his plate appearances qualify for official batting average leading status, he would still be hitting higher than Huff, who led the team in average. I think the award for team high average then should go to Pablo. Once again I thank you for your awesome blog.

Bip said...

I don't agree about which games you think they should have won. One should expect to lose against this year's Cy Young award winner.

Zo said...

Hmmm. I thought I posted something yesterday, must have gotten lost in the ether. I picked two games, the two Orlando Stone-hands Cabrera lost for us with his glove.

I urge everyone to read the excellent analysis and thoughts in the Extra Baggs column dated September 29 (link at sidebar). Want to know what individual players batted with two outs and RISP? It is here, but not suitable for children or those with weak constitutions.

In other, more positive news, the Chron reported that Charles Johnson, chairman of Franklin Templeton Investment Services has emerged as the largest stakeholder of the Giants, he has apparently purchased some of the Harmon childrens' shares. The article also alludes to the nature of the dissatisfaction with Mr. Neukom. It states that his requests for millions of dollars worth of salary for his position of CEO did not sit well with the other owners. This makes me feel much better. Mr. Johnson is a Giants fan, he was one of the original owners who bought the team with Peter McGowan rather than have it move to Florida.