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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Giants need more from big hitters

Much of the Giants struggles in the second half have been because of a major offensive drought the team has been going through the last month. Before the break, the Giants were figuring out ways to scrap together runs despite missing a couple of key contributors like Pence and Pagan.

Now fast-forward to mid-August, entering the stretch drive and the final 6+ weeks of the season, and the Giants lack of offense has become a trend that's lasted much longer than any of us were anticipating/hoping. Over the last 10 games the Giants have scored four-plus runs just four times, have been shut out twice and put up just a run in two of those contests. There pitching is good enough to where they're going to win most games in which they score more than 4 runs but that just hasn't been happening with any consistency. One of the reasons has been Hunter Pence. Hunter is a guy they were expecting a ton of run production from this year, yet he was knocked out for a couple months and has really struggled to get back on track since his return. Even before the injury he wasn't quite producing runs at a rate he's accustomed too though his average was up around .300 all year. Since his return however, neither the average or power has been there, as he's gone just 9-48 with 0 HR's and just one RBI while sporting a anemic .464 OPS! Before the injury, Pence was on pace for his typical .290'ish 20+ home run, 90+ RBI season, but he's not performing anywhere near that level right now and it's really hurting.

Pence's struggles have forced Bochy to drop him down in the lineup to the 7th slot recently. I personally would like to see him maybe shifted up into the two-hole with Belt or Crawford third then Posey fourth and maybe that will get him some more fastballs and get him back on track a little. Speaking of Posey, he's another guy who's not performing up to his career norm either. He's had such an odd season to say the least. He's gone through short mini bursts in which you think he's about to break out and turn back into that .320 hitting Buster who's hitting balls all over the yard and in the gaps, driving in runs. However, as the Giants enter play Saturday, Posey's sporting extremely pedestrian numbers for his standards with a line of .288/12/54/.818. Again, not bad at all for a catcher, but I'm sure the former MVP would like to be closer to 20 HR, and around 75 RBI at this point in the season than he is. To his credit, he is on pace to score the most runs of his career, which is more of a testament to Belt, Crawford and the guys behind him, but I'd like to see him step it up himself down the stretch.

If the Giants continue to get lackluster games from Pence at the plate and Buster stays on his current, very mediocre pace and can't hit another hot streak that can carry on for a few weeks and give this team some offensive life, the Giants are going to be in trouble. The Dodgers are right on their heels, just a game back, and they still have big reinforcements on the way in Rich Hill (back next week) and Clayton Kershaw (who is expected back by September). A month ago it was looking as if the Giants were going to just run away with this division. They were thriving despite rough back-end rotation performances and not having Pence and Pagan out there. Now, everyone is healthy, and they've even strengthened their rotation big time and found themselves a sorely lacking, top left-handed reliever, but they just can't find that rhythm they had going strong in May/June.

This is going to be a telling home stand in my opinion. After the Orioles the Giants get the Pirates and then the Mets. All these teams are beatable teams and the Giants should be able to take each of these series'. After this stand they have a tough stretch heading out on the road to face the Dodgers, Cubs, Rockies and D-Backs. The Rockies and D-Backs have given the Giants trouble in 2016 and the Cubs are the best team in baseball right now. Needless to say, some momentum going into that rough road stretch would be crucial.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Trinity said…

    Luckily Crawford has been good and Pagan has been solid cause a lot of guys are underachieving too like SPan isn't having a great year. Panik isn't having a good year at all. Belt is doing OK. And this Nunez guy has been pretty terrible so far. They need everyone to be better or else the Dodgers will take over.

  • At 8:29 PM, Anonymous CarlIsBad said…

    Lol well they heard your rant for this game Sunday. Pence two big hits. Too bad the damn bullpen couldn't keep it in line. I tell ya I know he's been decent for most part the last couple months, I still don't trust Casilla getting those big hitters in the 9th. He showed it again today, what was that blown save number 8? SMH!!!

  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous CarlIsBad said…

    And Hunter Strickland I don't get. Can look like a future closer 4/5 times out then look like he needs a trip back to Sacramento on that fifth outing, cuz he can be ugly at times. THis is such a weird bullpen the Giants have assembled, but I don't think any are pitching particularly well besides D-Law and Kontos. Everyone else really hit and miss lately. In there championship runs,that bullpen was always a staple and a guaranteed win with a lead after 7... Not anymore!

  • At 11:36 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Your exactly right on with the bullpen analogy, but you can't really blame the Giants on this one. The players just haven't performed, especially lately. I mean, who woulda thought Will Smith would come over and be WORSE than Osich and Javy Lopez. Who woulda thought Lopez would have such a bad year or Casilla would be so inconsistent. Ok, well, they shoulda had a back-up plan for Casilla and maybe should have focused on getting another closer-caliber guy instead of Smith at the deadline? They sure gave up a lot for Smith who wasn't having a great year in the first place and has been dreadful over here. I wonder what more they would have had to part with for Melancon cause he would sure look nice at the end of that pen right now.

    Anyway, the Giants are stuck with what they have so let's hope they figure it out. The only positive in the Dodgers taking over first place in the West would be the Giants would then get higher waiver priority because the Dodgers would block anyone that could fall to them right now.

  • At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Berd Joseph Rassam said…

    This is a seemingly age-old story and problem for the Giants.


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