Tim Hudson took out a page from the Big Book of Cain yesterday as the Giants failed to support his fine effort. (That's four starts, 112 batters faced, 53 ground balls, and no walks.) The Padres are playing their game in their yard and the Giants are obliging nicely. Yesterday they managed only a feeble four hits. Brandon Belt and Michael Morse have wOBAs over .400 (they are 13th and 16th on the NL leaderboard) and Angel Pagan is just behind at .387 (23rd). Brandon Crawford is holding his own at .360, but Buster Posey (.313) is well below expectations, and Hunter Pence (.265) and Pablo Sandoval (.250) are off the map. The team has scored just 13 runs in the last seven games and two of those went into extras.
The baseball season is 162 games long and is composed of nine 18-game stretches that I like to call "seasonal innings" (18 x 9 = 162). The Giants have finished their first inning and stand at 10-8, one game behind the 11-7 Dodgers. You play nine 10-8 innings and you finish at 90-72, which might net you a playoff spot. You go 11-7 nine times and you finish 99-63 which will likely net you the best record in the league. The Giants were 10-5 after beating the Dodgers on Wednesday, but followed that with three straight losses. The Brewers (13), the Braves (12), and the Cardinals/Dodgers (11) are the league leaders in wins, with the Nationals (10), Giants (10) and Rockies (10) just behind.
The Giants are 8th in the NL in scoring at 74 runs or 4.11 per game, just a hair below the league average (4.14). They are 7th in run prevention having yielded 66 runs or 3.67 per game, just ahead of the league average (4.06). Since interleague play has not yet started for San Francisco (next weekend the Cleveland Indians come to town) I am sticking with NL-only stats. I'll do 30-team comparisons next time.
The Giants rate a 101 OPS+, good for fourth best, and a 108 ERA+, tied for seventh best (B-R). FanGraphs is not as kind, saying the Giants 97 wRC+ is only seventh best and their .308 wOBA is ninth in the league. By team FIP however, the Giants rate fourth best and their 3.28 xFIP is the best.
If you prefer more traditional metrics, the Giants are batting .237/.310/.387 with 19 HR (4th in the league) against an NL average line of .249/.313/.391. The Giants have the fifth best team ERA (3.15) with 143 strikeouts (7th best), 34 walks (fewest), 16 HR (7th fewest), and 158 hits (11th fewest, or fourth worst).
Today Tim Lincecum tries to prevent a sweep in San Diego. Tim's only thrown 15 innings in three starts and he's allowed 20 hits and 12 runs. But he has only walked one and struck out 17, so there are some good signs. The bullpen has been terrific (57-1/3 IP, 47 H, 48 K, 13 W, 14 R) but could use some more long outings by the starters so let's hope Timmy can churn up some innings and lead the way to a victory.