When You’re Very Good at Nothing, This is What Happens
After watching The White Shark’s impressive blast to right field, I was reminded that he doesn’t do that too often. It was his second bomb of the year. He’s got a legit shot at passing the now shutdown Torres. With 27 games to go, he just might win that HR battle (it’s *races* like this that you have to embrace if you’re truly behind #questfor4th). The other *race* I’m eagerly watching: Will we hit 100 team home runs this year? We’ve got 79. Can we hit 21 in 27 games? Um, no. Mathematically, I guess it’s possible. But one hundo is probably not going to happen this year.
I was going to write a thread about the pathetic HR production from our OF this year but it’s already well known and I didn’t really have it in me this morning to look up all the other NL collective outfield HR stats. And really, it doesn’t matter where your power comes from. Cano has 25 bombs for the Yankees and that’s obviously a lot coming out of 2nd base. They’re near the bottom of the AL in team bombs, though.
The home run is NOT an overrated scoring tool but it’s not the ONLY way to score. If you’re stealing a ton of bags that’ll put enough runners in scoring position to produce an effective offense. We have stolen 55 bases this year, that’s 11th in the NL. So being 2nd to last in bombs and 11th in SB’s and an ugly picture starts to paint itself….
Walks are another important tool for an offense (especially if you can’t hit home runs). Walks are critical for many reasons. Obviously, they put men on base. They can move a runner into scoring position. They put a pitcher in the stretch. And, most importantly to a fantasy player, they protect the player’s batting average. The only way to sustain the hit of a low batting average is if the hitter is a big bomber. Alas we don’t have anyone like that and it’s one of the reasons I get irritated when people jack off to Belt’s OPS. It’s nice that he gets on base but he’s the wrong guy getting on base. He’s supposed to be the guy driving guys in. Thankfully, since he made the necessary adjustments at the plate courtesy of Dominic Freaking Brown, he’s been doing that in the 2nd half. Anyway, I digress. What was this paragraph about? Walks? That’s right. Well, we don’t take those very well either. We’re 11th in the NL with 375. Belt piled up most of those in just a couple of games in June…..
The ONLY thing our offense does well is not strike out. We lead the NL with only 871 whiffs. Our problem is that we make contact with the ball but it stays in the yard. We also hit into a lot of double plays (110) and that’s 5th most in the NL….
If you do get a bunch of guys to 2nd base either by a double, a stolen bag, a bunt, a walk etc….. you still have to drive them in. St Louis is still hitting an out-of-this-world .326 with runners in scoring position. We’re ok, 7th, at .251. Same thing with RISP/2outs: .235 is good enough for 6th in the NL.
Throw in the dreaded *park factors* and it’s completely obvious why we have the worst offense in the NL (if you exclude Miami who kicked the shit out of us this year). We don’t hit home runs, we don’t steal bases and we are in Average-ville when it comes to hitting with RISP.
In short, this team has zero offensive identity. And when you don’t know who you are, you get a lot of guys standing around staring at each other waiting for someone to do something. Standing on 2nd base and firing off an inspiring salute to the dugout can only carry you so far……