Currently, the San Francisco Giants sit atop the National League in errors with an appalling 57 boots (six more then any other NL team), that not taking into account all of the questionable misplays that weren’t ruled officially. Needless to say, it’s been a slightly rough year on the defensive side of things for the orange and black. For a few weeks now, while I never checked into it, I couldn’t help but get this sense that Tim Lincecum had oddly been on the wrong side of those errors (ruled and not) more then any other starter. And I was right.
Looking into it, the Giants’ defense committed 15 errors in Lincecum’s first 11 starts of the season (none in his last two, at least, not officially).
In comparison, Ryan Vogelsong has had 8 errors committed behind him, Matt Cain has had 7 (3 in the games first season), Barry Zito the second most at 13 and Madison Bumgarner with 8 through their first 11 starts of the year. Any reason for the excessive blunders? San Francisco Giants’ GM Brian Sabean seems to think so as he pointed out on yesterday’s Chronicle Live when asked about the rough defense behind the Freak:
“Well, I think part of the reason we haven’t played well behind him or we don’t hit is that the rhythm of the game is kind of out of whack with him pitching these thirty plus pitch innings and guys, really, are standing on that field too long.”
Does Sabes have a legit point? Hard to say – it certainly makes some sense but at the same time, the Giants simply aren’t a good fielding team – at least not right now. They do have some talented gloves, but, mentally they’re continually making poor decisions and gaffs that Major League talent shouldn’t make. I don’t honestly believe the Giants are as bad as they’re making themselves out to be, so maybe the point of more pitches per inning has some merit for Sabean.
Looking into the amount of pitches thrown, Linceucm lead’s the Giants in pitches per inning with 18.1 while Barry Zito, who has the second most errors committed behind him ranks second with 16.6. Ryan Vogelsong ranks third with 15.6 pitches per inning while Bumgarner and Cain rank below at just over 15 pitches per inning.
Is it just coincidence that all the numbers check out or is there more to it? Sabean seems to think he knows.