THE San Francisco Giants Blog

When Weak And Slow No Longer Gets It Done

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on August 1, 2017

One thing none of us realized going into this season, and I’ll lump the SF brass in with us on this issue, was just how much the offensive game has changed over the course of the last couple of seasons. In 2014, our last great moment, the league average of runs scored per game was 4.07. The following 3 years it has gone up 4.25, 4.48 and this year is at 4.67. HR’s are being blasted at an all-time high of 1.26 per game. Last year was the second highest at 1.16 per game (only outdone once back in 2000 when it clipped at 1.17 per game). So that is basically 2 consecutive seasons of the most HR’s, on average, hit per game in the history of baseball. All of this is statistically significant. The ball is juiced, pure and simple, unless you think those numbers are random. Do you think those numbers are random?

Conversely, the Giants are scoring a measly 3.92 runs per game. On the road it is barely better at 4.12 rpg (ahead of only 3 other terrible teams). That is a scoring impotence that is impossible to overcome in this new age of juiced balls.

Everyone in the front office, as well as most Flappers, failed to see until now where the game has gone, how it has change, and where it has gone and how it has changed WITHOUT the Giants.

The question now is clear: do the Giants continue to stick their head in the sand and try to build a team the way they did for their 3 championships? Or do they stop being stubborn and realize the game has passed them by and it’s time to change the approach? Because I guarantee you MLB isn’t changing what they are doing. Runs will continue to be scored at a record pace next year and the year after that…..

Of course, we know what they will do. They will fall back on “the core.” They know no other way…..

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  1. wilcojoe said, on August 1, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I nearly spit out of my coffee this morning after reading Haft’s story and a quote from Evans indicated the most interest centered around the core players “Panik, Pence and Smarge.” Yet he couldn’t find a deal that made sense? If he was offered a bag of balls for Pence and didn’t take it, shouldn’t that be a violation of some type of fiduciary duty?

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 6:57 am

      that makes me wonder if Evans is having imaginary conversations with other GM’s. Pence? Nobody wanted or wants Pence. That’s absurd, even if they called to have the Giants pay the rest of his salary. Pence is one of the worst OF’s in the league this year both offensively and defensively. You don’t call up trying to trade for that.

    • gianthead said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:03 am

      And same for Smardaramjam…

  2. willedav said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Interesting posts from James last night.
    No one will argue Giants need to be better offensively, but other side of the equation might be more important, i. e., limiting what other teams do with better pitching across the board.
    giants LA games were all close/low scoring and 2 decided late, like last night. giants 6-7 vs. juggernaut .705 winning pct. LA…it’s those other 28 lesser teams that are killing them.
    cueto apparently left rehab start early not because of blisters, something else (elbow?).

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:23 am

      our pitching is atrocious, SP and BP. That isn’t even something to debate, we have terrible pitching.

    • willedav said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:36 am

      think of it this way: if I have a small b-ball team I want to press opponents to keep them from getting shots up, killing us on boards and going inside. I need to create more shots by forcing turnovers/getting steals open court.

      If Giants don’t have a lot of power, and attracting/trading for bats not gonna be easy, then try and improve pitching to hold down other teams, esp given the yard they have. Improve the O sure but getting better pitching esp from SPs as James noted, might ultimately help more.
      they mostly held down LA power and played them close over weekend.

  3. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

    The Giants scored 4.44 runs a game in 2016 with a 728 OPS. They hit 110 HRs. If they had the same OPS and HR totals this year, they’d score about the same number of runs in 2017. Yet SF will probably hit more HRs this year, and score far fewer runs. The reason SF won’t have a 728 OPS and score 4.44 runs a game with the same roster is because those players are not hitting as many singles, doubles and triples this year, nor are they drawing as many walks. It has nothing to do with the increase in HRs hit by other teams.

    That said, having a top flight, PED era-like offense such as LA’s or the Nats’ would be very hard to do without hitting lots of bombs. And LA has turned a perennially pitcher friendly park ala ATT into a bandbox this year. Unfortunately, by the time SF might have a line up of mashers again, the tide may have shifted in favor of pitching once more . . . .

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      there is no *tide* to shift. Wake up. Either mlb stops using juiced balls or they don’t. And I am betting they won’t. They figured out it is a lot easier to just juice up the balls than hope their juiced up players won’t get busted for taking PED’s. They wanted more runs and they got it. This isn’t going away.

      • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:32 am

        Offense definitely sells. If they go too far into arena league territory, I could see some modulation. Stricter, less pitcher friendly strike zones could tip things into cartoon land, although the appetite for that kind of baseball may be there.

      • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:54 am

        i suppose if our pitching was back to the levels it has been in the past we could at least be more competitive with this limp offense.

  4. snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:43 am

    If this team has even an average mlb outfield , it would be watchable. It’s had the worst OF in the bigs all year. That has to be fixed in the offseason. They were peddling Span, no takers…

  5. gianthead said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The weakness is with the mgmt’s mindset. They went into the offseason with the thought they were one inning away getting to a game 5 of the NLDS. They thought all they needed was a fix for the closer role.

    So they overpaid but got their man in Melancon. The reality is that somehow with a flawed lineup and a mediocre bullpen, they somehow managed to scratch out the best record in baseball until reality caught up in the second half and barely held on to the final eild card spot. They then relied on superior starting pitching to at least get to the 9th inning of Game 4. Of course we won the wild card on Gillaspie’s miraculous 9th inning three run homer.

    And of course by overpaying for Melancon, they pushed themselves into luxury tax territory for a secind straight year and that is the red line for ownership. So the cupboards were bare to go out and fix left field and we were stuck with Spam and a declining Pence.

    That mindset continued into yesterday that instead of weighing the reality of a team well on its decline, mgmt thinks they are 1-2 pieces away from competitiveness…lol

    • gianthead said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am

      And is my count right Boch now just 5 games over .500???

      • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:56 am

        yes, legacy teetering…..

    • sfsarge said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I think that’s spot on and very well said.

      • gianthead said, on August 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        Merci danke

  6. unca_chuck said, on August 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Arena League, James? You mean like 1987 to 2005? The thing is, baseball was near death back when the strike hit. Attendance was way down, the fans were pissed off, and there was serious talk of the contraction of 3-4 teams.

    BudSelig justly is looked at as a pariah by the fans and most knowledgeable folks, but to the owners he saved their bacon by turning a blind eye to juicing for 12 years. The gaudy offensive numbers put butts in the seats and invigorated the game for the casual fans. The purists bitched and moaned but who gives a fuck? We aren’t the catered-to fan base.

    Once the sanctions came down and there was backlash over all the cheaters, we had the pitching renaissance. HRs were down, runs were down. This has now basically run its course. Attendance is once again sagging. Not like the strike-induced debacle of 1994, but front-running teams aren’t even close to selling out a shitload of theirgames.

    Enter the juiced balls. The game is once again going to be all about the long ball. It has already morphed into a carnival side show what with all the incessant music, tshirt cannons, dot racing, dead president races, $14.00 beers, $18.00 sandwiches, and the countless giveaways. Like I said, the purist fan base is a myth. An anacronism.

    The Giants may have been blindsided by this development, but they aren’t the only ones. The problem with this team is they feel that they can get away with a few down years while they try to plan their next moves. The soft cap that is the luxury tax should never be used as a reason not to try and improve the team. The poverty these guys cry about is utter bullshit. There were plenty of decent guys they could have gotten to improve the OF and pen. They didn’t. And no matter how you cut the numbers, the pen is a bigger problem than the starters. You can parse the numbers all you wnat, but the pen is blowing leads. If Cain gives up 3 in 6 but the team is up 3 in the 7th, that isn’t Cain’s doing when the pen goes walk-happy and gives up the ghost. Their job is to stop the bleeding, not to chop off more fingers.

  7. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I’m going to sound completely snarky here, but all 3 of our WS wins were luck. The first one, if the Pads don’t choke, we don’t even make the post season. In 2012, Jesus we were down to a knock out game in every single series heading into the WS. And then 2014, that was fluky, just all Bumgarner and literally not a single other pitcher worth a damn.
    I get it, you need luck and breaks in the post season and I do think there is some immeasurable stuff like *The Reverend Pence* and guys out performing their abilities (Scoots, Franchez, Ross, etc…). But we could have just as easily gotten 0 WS wins. And I think our brass gets an awful lot of leeway these days because of those 3 beauties that, frankly, had a lot to do with more luck than anything they did to build the team into a year in/year out winner…..

    • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 10:38 am

      That’s not snark — that’s reality.

    • gianthead said, on August 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Which makes me nervous about how the FHead Flodgers are built with a whole lot of young position players and the moves they made before the trade deadlien to bolster their pitching is a sign of them trying to replicate the Giants streak and going for it. Picking up Watson may be crucial…I will be praying for a playoff faceplant amd looks lile cubs ate starting to put it together. Nats like the Stros did little to bring more impact players. They need Strasburg to be an effective #2…

    • djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Blade gave me some hell for saying that a couple of months back. He made valid points (especially about the bullpen), but 2014 was ALL Bumgarner – just like 1988 was ALL Hershiser for LA…

  8. unca_chuck said, on August 1, 2017 at 10:44 am

    That’s true for about 70% of the WS winners in the past 30 years, Flav. The Giants wins were reminiscent of the way the game in the 60s and early 70s. Pitching and defense. What you can’t compare is the difficulty of GETTING to the playoffs in the 60s and 70s. Temas can fluke into the WS just be getting hot at the right time. Look at StL in their run around the same time as ours.

    I think the Giants teams of the 60s were infinitely better than the ones that actually won it all.

  9. unca_chuck said, on August 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    The ‘new’ playoff format dictates that flukes WILL happen. Riding a hot pitcher through the playoffs isn’t new. But given that you have 10 teams reaching the playoffs instead of 2 or even 4 makes it much much easier for a team like the way the Giants were built to hit paydirt.

    Shit, before this season, everyone laughed at the Dodgers and their easy march to all those NL West titles by simply beating the fuck out of shitty teams and coasting to the playoffs. What failed them? Playoff pitching.

    GETTING to the playoffs is the goal. As the GIants and Cards have shown, pitching can carry you through the playoffs, but getting there now is changing as the league fucks with the ball.

  10. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Hey, pretty soon, we’ll be admitting that Billy Beane is in fact a lot smarter than Sabes 🙂

    Beane pointed out that his team’s playoff failures were more bad luck than bad method. And when the Dodgers lose again, same deal. None of which will make it any less satisfying when it happens.

  11. dirtnrocksnomo said, on August 1, 2017 at 11:19 am

    The 2010 team’s post season pitching performance was historic. Unfortunately the front office took that model and thought “hey this will work”. The 2012 team was very good, winning 94 games and the NL West. 2014 was the flukiest and all Bumgarner. Hard to argue with that one.

  12. Bozo said, on August 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I don’t think I have ever been so wrong about a team before, not only did the wheels fall off, but the axle that turns the wheels froze up. Or, as some of my neighbors might say, that machine done broke.

    I’ll still be watching though, if only to catch a bit of the beauty that each game can bring.

    • willedav said, on August 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      hey man–doing some cardio over weekend saw on TV reports about bad weather/power outages in Outer Banks area…just making sure all Bozos are safe and accounted for.

      • Bozo said, on August 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Yeah willie, they were putting in some piles for a new bridge and cut the main power cable to Ocracoke island and parts of Hatteras island (huge oops). They evacuated all the tourists/non residents from those areas and with them a large chunk of cash for the business’ that depend on the summer tourist season (most of them).
        The Bozo household is still plugging away, mainly doing a lot of yard type work and doing some short weekend trips for music and a little baseball.
        Thanks for asking.

  13. Macdog said, on August 1, 2017 at 11:36 am

    MadBum was the losing pitcher in the only game the Giants lost in the 2014 NLDS vs. Nats. They somehow won the other three games — and the series — without him.

  14. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The WS winners were all good to very good teams. They were fortunate but not undeserving winners each of those years. That they won 3 in 5 was incredible luck . . . or just things evening out all at once after so many years without a title.

  15. djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Shouldn’t Parker have been back by now?

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I’m out of the loop but isn’t he still on the DL?

  16. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm

  17. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Billy Hamilton AND Max Sherzer both have hit 3 run home runs today. But carry on with our 3.92 rpg.

  18. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Belt is supposedly selling his newly purchased Bay Area house.

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      my dream remains in tact.

      • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm

        😀

  19. snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Thera luck in the routes to a WS trophy for all winners. I think for the 3 in 5, the luck factor increased for each one. In 2010, SF had the most dominant pitching in the playoffs since the ‘ 70 Orioles. That was no fluke, and they did it through an extra layer of series. 2012 was luck in all those deciding games, but luck plus a lock down Pen including Timmy. 2014 was the most luck, with Bum at an historical performance. We won’t see that again anytime soon, any of those three types of wins…

  20. snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Here at brewpub with some Lagunitas 12 th of Never Pale Ale at 5.5% abv and watching Nunie stay hot with broken bat knock. He looks comfortable already. I doubt seriously he’ll come back to SF…

    • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      I mean, why would he want to? He’s obviously more comfortable in the AL and I can’t imagine there are too many dudes out there tripping over themselves to join a team that’s going to try to avoid losing 100 losses back2back

  21. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  22. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    ok, if the bullpen blows this one I’ll admit the offense has nothing to do with this season.

    • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      With a 5-0 lead, this is mostly on Smarge.

      • Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        there are PLENTY of scenarios where this could end up being a bullpen implosion game. Let’s see how it plays out. I can’t see the game, I’m in Idaho. Probably better that way.

      • pawliekokonuts said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm

        I’m just as jaded, in Montreal, Magnus.

  23. snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Friggin SF with a first frame 5 Spot? Has that happened yet all season?.

  24. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Does that count as a shutdown inning?

  25. Flavor said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    If you factor in the 3 bombs, the 8k’s and the zero walks Smarge will have the rest of this game…..where does that put us? Still in line for a W?

  26. djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Gorky might very well end up with the second highest BA on the team…

    • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Even more remarkable is that Belt has an outside chance to finish with the highest OPS again. He’s a beast in August and September! A monster!!

      • alleykat69 said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Yeah since he won’t commit to pop ups in play Belt should do ok.Stellar game of tanking last night though..

      • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        That was an irrelevant play, Kat. Of course, I loved it when Bonds didn’t run out grounders.

  27. djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    That’s in the cove in SF…

  28. snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Talking at pub bar with a dude who is aerospace engineer and pres of a start up that is making a 3 passenger autopiloted jet that will be targeted to day trip biz executives. Cool idea. We are almost living in a Jetson’s age.,.

  29. pawliekokonuts said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    In Montreal. In search of Leonard Cohen. And hot trashy chicks on St. Catherine St [there’s some irony for you]. It’s kind of cool to see people wearing Expos gear.

    • snarkk said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Get the smoked meat sandwich at some place just down the street from Schwartz’s deli. Same quality sandwich, 1/5 the line. Order with a cardiologist chaser. Poutine? Pommes frites with gravy slathered on it. Mmmm, good…

  30. James said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    One step closer to the bullpen implosion.

  31. xoot said, on August 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    stopwatch Krukow claims Tomlinson went from contact to 3B on that triple in 11.2 seconds. That’s a 90 yard dash, with no blocks and with corners to round. The hit itself was pretty good, too.

    • djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      I’d like to see what he could do with 500 AB.
      I used to say the same thing about Nate…

      • James said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

        Dan Gladden had only 384 PAs in his breakout year. That’s the right number to wish for.

      • djloo27 said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

        I’ll go with that…

    • alleykat69 said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Stopwatch??Specs is to fast of a player for this team to use a stopwatch.Their use to using a sundial for most of the players.

  32. Macdog said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Three bombs tonight, did the Giants read Flav’s post?

  33. Macdog said, on August 1, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Up 10-4 with 2 outs in the 9th — and Osich gives up a walk.


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