Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Welcome to the Bottom

Giants Get No-Hit Into Last Place

Homer Bailey celebrates his no-hitter
Homer Bailey just no-hit the defending World Series Champions.

That World Series could not seem any further away than right now.

The Giants have finally reached rock bottom, whether they're going to roll around in the muck for awhile longer remains to be seen.  At 39-44, the Giants have now taken a firm hold of last place in the division by half a game and yet still only trail the division leader by 3 games in the terrible NL West.

Still, this does not seem like a team that wants to rise out of the mud anytime soon.  With the exception of Angel Pagan who is lost for the season, the offense is basically back and relatively healthy.  And although you can say that Vogelsong is still out, the Giants still lose when any of the other 4 starters are on the mound, even when Cain or Bumgarner have fantastic outings.

But mostly, the starters have been doing their jobs with the exception of Kickham who can't buy a break.  The main problem here is hitting and here are the culprits:

In the past 7 games:
Brandon Crawford:  2 for 22 (6 game hitless streak)
Pablo Sandoval: 1 for 24
Marco Scutaro: 3 for 26
Gregor Blanco: 2 for 25 (5 game hitless streak)
Andres Torres: 5 for 24
Hunter Pence: 4 for 24

The only two everyday players I left off this list were Brandon Belt (5 for 18) and obviously Buster Posey (10 for 25).

Excluding those two bright spots, those 6 players up there have combined for a .090 average over that 7 game span.  Not surprisingly, the Giants went 1-6 in those games.  If Homer Bailey was going to get another no-hitter he couldn't have chosen a better time than last night.

Still, I don't want to take anything from Homer, from what I saw yesterday he controlled both sides of the plate, had a wicked high fastball that reached 97 mph and has above average breaking pitches.  He definitely has no-hit stuff and it really could've been anybody getting no-hit, but it happened to be the Giants and it happened to be at a time where the Giants just can't find any answers at the plate.

This is not a problem that can be solved by getting guys back from the DL, as Pagan is too far off from coming back, and the only other key injuries are in the pitching staff.  Unfortunately Casilla doesn't hit .500 every year and I don't think he'd make a very good 3rd baseman either.

Another way the Giants can improve?  Win some games on the road.  After yesterday's gut punch in Cinci, the Giants now lay claim to the most road losses in the majors at 29 with a 15-29 record away from AT&T Park.  And yet this same team is 24-15 at home.  Everyone loves having a good home record.  We want to enjoy a win as well as grab our free Sergio Romo Gnome, but to have nearly double the number of losses than wins on the road?  I know what you're thinking too, if the Giants lose today then it'll be a nice even 15-30.

Negative feelings aside, Timmy actually looked good at times last night.  He struck out 8 batters in 5 and 1/3 innings and ended up giving up 3 runs, but before the 2 run knock by Philips, he was actually looking somewhat... dominant.. *GASP*.  Believe it or not, Timmy has had 3 quality starts in the past 6 games.  He's 1-4 during that time, but there's still progress to be made.  He's also only had 9 runs of support in those 6 games (1.5 runs per game), so it all comes back to the lack of offense.

It's easy to say that this year the Giants should just give up and look to 2014.  But the fact is that as bad as it's been, the Giants are still within 3 games of first place, and maybe the good thing is that Sabean might feel the team is too far gone to make any rash moves anyway.  If the team can make a turnaround on it's own and maybe get some fuel from the return of Casilla and Vogelsong, then there's still a shot in this very winnable division.

I'd like to point out Bochy's comments after yesterday's game for some perspective:

“We’re going through a tough stretch right now with the offense,” Bochy said. “You’d like to think we’ve bottomed out now. You just hope this is as low as it gets. You hope you’ve hit rock-bottom.”

As you well know, when you're at rock bottom, there's no where to go but up.

Laws of the Day

AFTER yesterday's no-hitter, Homer Bailey is 5-6 with a 3.57 ERA.

"Insert stat that shows how bad the Giants have been lately."

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