The Giants’ Offense Is Worse Than You Think

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, July 26, 2011 02:37 PM | Comments: 17

The defending World Champions roll into town Tuesday, bringing with them electric arms, weak bats and painful memories.

It was this (mostly) same San Francisco Giants squad that defeated the Phillies in six games last October, preventing the Phils from being the first NL team in 60+ years to reach the World Series in three consecutive years. Those Giants were an orgy of overachievers who proved once and for all that the major league baseball playoffs are as much a crapshoot as any pro draft. We tend to think that baseball rewards the most talented, consistent teams – the sport plays twice as many games as basketball and hockey and ten times more than football – but in reality, the law of large samples only affects the regular season.

Dinks and dunks, bloopers and bleeders with a big-time blast every now and again led the light-hitting Giants past the Phillies in 2010. San Francisco will need similar luck and execution to repeat, because this year’s team is somehow worse offensively than last. It’s not close, either.

The 2010 Giants scored 459 runs through the first 102 contests for an average of 4.5/game. This year’s team has scored exactly 90 fewer runs for an average of 3.6/game. That team had a run differential of +85. This one is at a mediocre +19.

Buster Posey‘s season-ending injury obviously crippled the Giants. Posey, as young as he is, is more important to his team than even Chase Utley is to the Phillies, when you factor in team context and positional value. The less publicized issues have been the struggles of Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff. Torres has been hurt and ineffective in 2011, posting a meager .692 OPS that is below average in even a watered down offensive environment. On this day last year, Torres was batting 38 points higher, getting on base 5% more and slugging an additional 126 points.

After experiencing a resurgence in 2010, Huff looks like he’s cooked in ’11. .240/.295/.363 from a slow-footed player in a premium offensive position? Yuck. Huff has 9 home runs, but three of them came in one game in St. Louis earlier this year.

Each night, the Giants are getting nothing offensively from two positions – catcher and shortstop – and are receiving very little from two outfielders. Shortstop particularly has been a disaster, as both Miguel Tejada and Brandon Crawford have struggled to hit their weight. Collectively, Giants shortstops have hit .217, worst in the National League and second only in the bigs to Tampa.

Giants second basemen haven’t been too thrilling either, driving in the second fewest runs in the NL. This is a lineup with multiple holes every single night and not much internal hope on the horizon. A few weeks back, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow (who are seriously brilliant and a joy to listen to) attempted to convince fans that help was on the way … for Mike Fontenot would soon be returning.

As always, pitching has made up for San Fran’s offensive woes. Lincecum, Cain, Romo and Wilson are still around, and Ryan Vogelsong has been a revelation.

But the triumphant return of Mike Fontenot tells you all you need to know about this team’s offense.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 1004 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I think the Giants of last year make my point more for this years Phillies, can pick up waiver wire guys that can contribute in the playoffs, Wasn’t Pat the Bat, and Cody both waiver wires guys that the Giants picked up from the scrap heap. Like someone posted the other day, the playoffs are a srpint, and anything can happen, so wheather the Phills do anything to improve an >600 team does not lock them into the WS. This pitching staff can shut down hitting teams, so the offensive numbers for other teams that match up with the Phils do not worry me or make me feel safer if they suck, These are all major league guys and can be productive for a week or two at any time. If Ryan(I know most of you think he sucks) has a hot series in the playoffs, I do not care who is pitching to him, he can carry this club. Same thing with Utley, Vic, JRoll or even Raul. So really the playoffs are all about match ups and timing.

    • Posts: 0 Brian

      Living in California and seeing the Giants play quite a bit, it is remarkable they continue to win with this offense. That being said, they do something the Phillies don’t do…hit in the clutch. I’d love to see some stats on the Giants offense in innings 1-6 and 7-9. I’d wager on a big difference. Still, they had no business winning the NLCS or WS last year. CRUSH THEM.

      • Posts: 1004 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        Brian I think the same can be said about this years Phillies, their offensive number between the 6-9 innings have got to be better then 1-5. And maybe it is just me but I think they have to be in the top five at least in the NL with 2 out runs. Maybe it just seems that way, but I watch every game even if I have to DVR it and it seems like a ;majority of their runs come with two outs. Timing is everything, because if you look at it in the last 10 how often has the consenus “best team” in baseball won the WS. The Yankees of 09, maybe, but I do not think people thought the best team in 08 was the Phillies, Cole just went on a tear and they caught some breaks offensivly.
        From 200-2010 I figure 3 maybe 4 if you put the 07 Red Sox in there, teams that would have been considered the”best team” won the WS. And really even if you take the Phillies out of it in 08, There were 6 teams that we no where close to the best team during the season, 01 diamond backs, 02 Angels,03 Marlins, 05 White Sox, 06 Cardnials (barly 500 team) and the Giants of 10. So in reality it is all about timing and pitching getting guys on a roll for 2-3 weeks.

  • Posts: 1 Pete Gallagher

    Giants offense is mediocre, understood. But a reminder to all the naysayers about the Giants WS Victory- won it fair and square. Another point- When do Philly fans stop complaining like five year olds when their team gets beat? Grow up please

  • Posts: 5271 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Beta- Let me be clear. I do not think Howard sucks. He can be hell on wheels when he gets it going. But the last year and a half, he is not giving us his best effort. “For those that have more, more is expected.” It’s one of my favorite quotes. He can hit better, we all know it, we’ve seen it, because he’s done it. When opposing pitchers and managers catch on to your tendencies, you have to adjust. It’s the same in any sport at any position. Do you think Doc could be this good for this long if he didn’t constantly adjust his approach and learn new pitches?

    Ryan Howard has not adjusted, he just keeps hitting the ball to the short fielder that they station in perfect position to beat him. Now if he did more of what he did after Charlie benched him, wait on the ball just a little, and hit it the other way, he has the whole left side of the infield to hit it through. If he would just stop swinging wildly at every pitch, compact his swing some, and take pitches, he would be a better power hitter in the long run. Again I present BB ref to show what happened in seasons where he was more patient. Look at the seasons with over 100 walks, look at the difference in his production. Even the ones with 80 and 75 walks. He has more, and for me, more is expected. Right now he’s on pace for 30 HR, 120RBI- I’m sorry foreign down on him, but he can produce more.
    And most importantly, I really really hope he does, I don’t hate him.

  • Posts: 5271 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Corey, I agree about Kuiper and Krukow, they are very good.

  • Posts: 1004 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    Lefty that coment about people think howard suck was not aimed at you, you have you critisism of him and most of the time it is fair, he does not have great pitch reckognition and swings at a lot of bad pitches, I too think he could be a better hitter. It is the others on here who constintly bring up 0 RBIs last year and call him a singles hitter, and say he never hits int the clutch that bother me cause they just do not like him for some reason or are jealous of the money he makes. You are almost always fair and always have sound reasoning behind your logic. I am sorry if you took that as a shot at you, it was aimed at guys like Jeff and pubicous or whatever his name is

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The Giants caught lightening in a bottle last year….

    My biggest worry about this series is that the Giants throw their top 2 pitchers against Worley and Kendrick . . . and Phillies fans will freak out if we drop this series. Before it starts, realize its just the same as every other series, except for the fact that we have our #4, #3, and #5 starters, respectively

    • Posts: 5271 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Agree, this series is meaningless if we sweep, or get swept. We did not get the match ups like we’ll get in the postseason. People should not put too much stock into this.

      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        Actually, if we sweep them (with Kendrick and Worley facing Cain and Lincecum) then that DOES say something… if they sweep up that’s kinda expected because Lincecum and Cain should definitely win their two games, and there’s a small chance that Cole could have an off day/ Zito a good day.

  • Posts: 548 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    The Frisco Giants have the 2nd best record (59-43) in the N.L. (not the Braves). And they are doing it without their outstanding player, Buster Posey. What does that tell you about that team? Yes, great pitching obviously, but also they play as a TEAM and lifting each other as teammates to a higher standard as defending World Champions. As the Phillies know and would say to anyone listening, the exhilarating experience of winning a championship provides a valuable lesson in winning with pride and determination.

    So I would NEVER underestimate that team especially with their great pitching. And it is that team the Phillies should have the greatest concern in getting to the World Series.

  • Posts: 0 Katie

    The Giants are able to win the close 1 run games, the type of games that are played in the postseason. They don’t need to beat other teams by 5+ run every game. Their bullpen is ridiculously good with Lopez, Romo, Affeldt, and Wilson. As long as the starting pitcher and bullpen keep it close late into the game, the hitters can scratch across runs with “dinks and dunks, bloopers and bleeders,” and this team wins. Yes, I certainly agree the offense isn’t great, but they don’t need to be. This team is built on pitching. They win as a team any way they need to.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Other teams line ups are moot.
    This is why facing the Red sox in a 7 gamer is easier than facing Cody Ross.

    The Phillies will give up their 0-3 runs. Maybe the other team gets lucy and gets 3 on an error or just hits a homer on a mistake.

    Against the Brewers and Red sox of the world in the playoffs the phils will score enough to win. Agaisnt the Giants they may not. Dont believe me? See NLCS 2010

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      speaking of NLCS 2010 …. how many RBI did Howard have that series??

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    The Giants do the following: Look at pitches. Move runners. Bunt. Hit and run. Not swing at first pitches after the guy before you walked on four pitches. They play small ball because they’re pitching is good. If it looks like they score just enough to win its because they do. An illustration of how the two offenses differ. EX: A player leads off an inning with a double in a close game with good pitching. The Phillies offense will swing away looking to drive the ball in the gaps. The Giants try to move the guy to third and then try to get him in.

    In the playoffs, the Giants way works best. Do the Giants have a better offense? Most certainly not. But in the playoffs they will play that infuriating way like they did last year that gets their great pitching just one more run than the other team. Its irritating. Its not fun or pretty too watch. But it works. Kinda like Novacaine.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    While I agree with the statements that the Phillies may not score more than 3 runs against the Giants, etc . . . .

    if you look at their offenses, its going to be tougher for the Phillies to outscore the Brewers, Braves than the Giants..

    If the Phillies played in the NL West, we’d have won 74 games in the first 100

  • Posts: 0 Mike B

    And when the Giants beat the Phillies again and then go on to win the World Series back-to-back what will all the Philly whiners be crying about then? Go cry in your cheesesteak and beer!

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