Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, August 20, 2011

An Offensive Offense - Why the Giants will fall short this year,

Andres Torres fails to score, something that the Giants have had a lot of trouble with in 2011

Sure, they have had injuries.  Buster Posey is out for the year, and that was devastating.  Andres Torres, David  Ross, Mark DeRosa and Pablo Sandoval have all been out for significant portions of the season, but then again, the Barry Zito injury was a blessing in disguise for them as Vogelsong rose from the ashes to an All-Star season.  Everyone has injuries.  Look at the Dodgers for heaven's sake.  It could easily be argued that the Dodgers suffered more devastating injuries this year, (Garland, Padilla, Kuo, Broxton, Uribe, Furcal, Blake, De La Rosa, and Gordon are just off the top of my head).  It's the good teams that overcome those injuries.  So why is it, besides the injuries, that the Giants won't repeat? 

 It’s their offense plain and simple.  

Buster Posey, out for the season

While the Giant pitching staff remains near the top in many statistical categories, usually trailing only the Phils, they would have run away with the division had they simply performed with a mediocre offensive output.  2011 stats show that the Giants are the worst offensive team in the National League.  They simply cannot produce runs.  Below are some of the Giants key offensive statistics that show this.  Many ranking them last in the league.
Runs/game: 3.4  (rank: 16th out of 16)
Runs: 428 (16th)  *next to last team (Dodgers) is at 456
RBI: 400 (16th)
Batting Avg.: .239 (16th)
On Base %: .301 (16th)
Slugging %: .358 (15th)
OPS: .659 (15th)
OPS+: 85 (16th)
Run Differential: -15  (10th) *428 runs scored, 443 runs allowed
The argument often made is that “pitching wins championships.”  Those that support this assertion often mention the ‘63 and ’65 Dodger clubs that won World Championships with great pitching staffs in place and poor hitting.  Let’s compare the same offensive statistics mentioned above with those two teams, remembering that the N.L. was a 10-team league then:
                    ’63 Dodgers                  ’65 Dodgers
Runs/game: 3.9 (6th)               3.8 (8th)
Runs:           640 (6th)                       608 (8th)
RBI:              584 (6th)                      548 (8th)
Batting Avg.  .251 (4th)                     .245 (7th)
On Base %:  .309 (5th)                     .312 (6th)
Slugging %:  .357 (8th)                     .335 (9th)
OPS: .666 (7th)                    .647 (8th)
OPS+: 98 (3rd)                       89 (6th)
Run Diff:        +90 (2nd)                   +87 (3rd)

The 1963 Dodgers club actually ranked in the middle of the pack in the same offensive categories.  The ’65 team fell short more offensively, but the pitching picked up the slack with an even more formidable performance with a league leading ERA of 2.81.

Dodger Slugger Frank Howard led the '63 Dodger team with 28 homers that year.

What is most noticeable in the comparisons is the Run Differential stat, with the 2011 Giants in the negative while those Dodger Teams were way in the positive.  The 2011 Giants offense is simply much worse than the two Dodger teams in comparison.

A look at last season’s Giants team stats in the same categories really explains why the Giants are in trouble this year.  

2010 Giants
Runs/game: 4.33 (9th out of 16)    
Runs:           697 (9th)                       
RBI:             660 (9th)
Batting Avg. .257 (7th)
On Base %: .321 (10th) 
Slugging %: .408 (6th)
OPS:           .729 (8th)
OPS+: 97 (6th)
Run Diff:        +114 (2nd)

That Run Differential is the key.  Ranked second last year, the Giants were way in positive territory.  Unless they really start hitting and follow rookie Brandon Belt's lead in taking pitches and working counts, the Giant pitching is not going to be able to carry that feeble offense.  My observation of this Giant team is that they are making things too easy for opposing pitchers by swinging away way too early in counts, keeping opposing pitcher's pitch counts down and allowing them to pitch deeper into games.  The Giant offensive approach is lacking big time.  They have time to turn things around, being only 2.5 games out, but time is running out.

Are Lincecum, Bumgarner and Cain enough to take the Giants to the post season again?

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