Tuesday, August 30, 2011

F(L)AILING: Why the Giants are Done.

5 games back and heading the opposite direction as the 2010 Giants were at this time, the Giants are done. With still a month left of baseball left, the hope that is left is simply a cruel trick to the millions of Giants fans who were hoping for a return to the playoffs to add more legitimacy to a great team that won the World Series last year.

Last night's game was the culmination of failure that is realized when you see the unquestioned ace, Tim Lincecum try too hard and give up three home runs in one game for the first time in his career.

With no explanation or excuse, the hitters have let their prized pitchers hang out to dry.

In the first 4 innings last night the Giants held on to a 0-0 tie, and yet despite Lincecum's best efforts and doing an excellent job not only in getting the Cubs out, but out quickly, you saw on his face that even his minor mistakes were killing him. How can a pitcher relax when he knows that giving up a solo homer in the 5th inning may spell defeat?

Randy Wells has always been good against the Giants, but coming into San Francisco with a 5-4 record and 5+ ERA shouldn't strike fear in the hearts of Giants hitters. Right now even a strike down the middle for a quick first pitch will cause agonizing second guessing on the part of every Giant.

Besides Andres Torres coming back and getting on base quickly his first 2 times up (AND in scoring position). He was backed up by the following:

Keppinger 0-4
Beltran 0-4
Sandoval 0-4
Huff 0-3
Cabrera 0-3
Belt 0-3
Chris Stewart 0-2

Together with a pinch hit from Fontenot and a reach on error by Huff, the Giants had 2 hits and 4 total men on base.

But the offensive challenges aren't a new headline, the Giants have been dealing with it since the season began. However it hadn't affected pitching performance until it did yesterday.

This pitching staff has shown time and time again that all you need to do is score 3 runs or more and it will be enough for a win. In this season the Giants have a 58-15 record when scoring at least 3 runs.

If the Giants score 2 runs or less, their record drops to 12-44.

In the month of August, you can see how the pitchers have been affected. The Giants have only scored more than 3 runs 11 times in the 27 games so far in August. Of those games, the Giants have only won 7 of them for a 7-4 record. In fact, in the last 5 games that the Giants have scored 3 runs or more, they own a 2-3 record.

The misery just keeps coming, and honestly there is no end in sight. There is no magic spell, no key ingredient to get this offense moving. Yesterday you got a healthy Keppinger, Beltran, Sandoval and Belt in the lineup and not one of them could muster a hit or even draw a walk. It is embarrassing to attempt to say that every pitcher that walks into San Francisco manages to pitch a gem and look masterful in their performances.

The Diamondbacks meanwhile are cruising along having won their 7th game in a row. This Diamondbacks team is just not going away, and the Giants are finding that they are the team that is going away. Quietly and without protest.

Laws of the Day

In case you didn't have enough misery, the Giants have been shut out 12 times this season.

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