Friday, May 17, 2013

These Aren't The 2012 Giants (But They Still Win)

Scutaro keeps hitting
Let's paint a picture here, Matt Cain pitched 6 and a third innings, and picked up the win.

Oh and he gave up 6 runs...

But that's okay because as the bay area's only win tonight the Giants came back down 6 runs to beat the Colorado Rockies 8-6.

Surprisingly that's the Giants' biggest comeback all year.  I could've sworn we've come back from bigger deficits and I think that speaks to the change in this team's identity.  I don't really start to worry the game is out of reach until we're at least down by double digits.

Since 2010, this team has been pegged by the media, opposing fans and ourselves, as a team identified by its starting pitching.  Lincecum was our shining star fresh off 2 Cy Young awards, Matt Cain was the "other ace," Madison Bumgarner was the future ace that was playing at the same time as the present aces, and in the past 2 years, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito have proven that this rotation is one of the deepest in baseball.

This year however, you'd be hard pressed to find a string of starting pitching performances like the Giants had against the Braves in three games.  Besides that stretch the Giants have relied on an offense that can make up for mediocre starting pitching and a bullpen that can keep leads once the Giants take them late in games.

A quality start is 6 innings pitched while allowing 3 runs or less.  The Giants have only had 19 quality starts all year in 41 games which is 20th in the league.  The starting rotation collectively has a 5.33 ERA with the biggest culprit being Ryan Vogelsong who's had an absolutely dismal start to the season with an 8.06 ERA through his first 8 starts.

They say that you cannot truly find out the identity of a team until you've played a quarter of the season.  well 41 games is just past a quarter and so far starting pitching is not this team's strength.

Yet the Giants are 24-17 and first place in the NL West due in large part to their offense.

Yes boys and girls, the Giants' offense is winning more games than than the starting pitching is.  The Giants are currently the 3rd highest scoring team in the NL and hold the 2nd best batting average in the entire league.  And here's the big stat, in 41 games this year, the Giants have scored 5 or more runs in 17 games.

The other thing about tonight was that the first 6 runs tonight were not driven in by Panda, Posey or Pence, but rather it was the 6 thru 9 hitters which is exactly why this offense has been clicking, there isn't a normal hole in the lineup when you have Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford both hitting well at the back end of the lineup.

Once this starting rotation starts to pull their weight, this team could be very very scary.

Laws of the Day

Marco Scutaro extended his hitting streak to 15 games going 2 for 5 against Colorado

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