So far this season, the Giants have played in 31 games (not including tonight’s game against Arizona) and own a losing record of 15-16.
On offense, Buster Posey is back from a broken leg and having a good year, Pablo Sandoval was on a tear until he suffered an injury and newcomers such as Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan have been fulfilling their expectations.
Let’s see where the Giants offense ranks when compared to other teams:
- Tied 4th in NL in hits (276)
- Tied 2nd in NL in triples (11)
- 10th in NL in home runs (22 – four under league average)
- 11th in NL in RBI (107 – 13 below league average)
- 12th in stolen bases in NL (18 – three under league average)
- Tied 6th in NL in batting average
- Fewest strikeouts in NL (only 93)
- third worst walks in NL (78 – 20 below league average)
So there are some good and bad in these rankings, so first let’s start with the bad.
The speed the Giants thought they were getting by filling roster spots with guys like Gregor Blanco, Manny Burriss, Cabrera and Pagan are simply not running enough. There have only been 28 steal attempts by the Giants this year, and they have been caught 10 of those attempts.
Out of 18 bases stolen, 10 of them have been by either Cabrera (5) or Pagan (5).
The good? Hits and strikeouts.
The Giants have been the best team in the NL at not striking out. Pretty amazing stuff. They have also been among the games leaders in hits and triples. They clearly have a different approach to hitting when compared to previous years, but they are still not walking enough.
Only 78 walks puts them ahead of only Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (69 each).
Pitching, on the other hand, has a little better rank than the offensive side has.
- 7th in NL in ERA (3.38 – .30 above league average)
- tied for first in team shutouts (3)
- tied for 6th in saves
- 9th in NL in hits allowed (258)
- tied for 2nd in home runs allowed (18)
- tied for second-to-last in NL in strikeouts (216)
- tied for 6th in NL in walks allowed (98, league average)
- tied first in NL in complete games (2)
Okay, so this seems a little more consistent. The Giants are known for good pitching – and they have been good. Are they one of the elite pitching teams in the National League? No, but they are in the top 5 or so.
The Giants starting 5 have been like this:
#1 - disappointing Tim Lincecum starts
#2 – Amazing Madison Bumgarner
#3 – solid Matt Cain outings, always a horse
#4 – Ryan Vogelsong trying to repeat last year, not succeeding
#5 – Zito pitching like 2002 Zito
So things are a little mixed up. If you throw in Brian Wilson‘s season-ending injury and Santaigo Castilla stepping in in high-pressure situations, as well as Jeremy Affeldt‘s injury, the Giants pitching staff doesn’t look like it once did.
I do like the fact that the Giants don’t give up a lot of home runs and they have a relatively low team earned run average -those are important. As for the strikeouts?
Where are my strikeouts? Lincecum should be pitching eight per game, Cain should too. Bumgarners k% rate has fallen, while Zito and Vogelsong are throwing strikeouts like they usually do.
So that is where the Giants rank in the NL. Their pitching: above average. Offense: also about average, but cooling off from early high scoring starts.
Conversation starter: What category are you most surprised of how good/bad the giants are? Where do you wish they would improve and how?