It’s two full months into the baseball season and the Giants have the best record in baseball (35-19). I didn’t see that coming, you didn’t see that coming, Bruce Bochy didn’t even see that coming.
There they are though. Best record in the league, a 6.5 game lead over both the Rockies and the Dodgers (largest of any division leader), and on a pace to win 105 games. Oh yea, that best record in baseball? It’s 3 games better than Detroit, Milwaukee, and Oakland.
Amazingly, a lot of this success can be traced to directly how the Giants have performed with 2 outs. I wondered earlier this season if I was going to be disappointed looking at the 2-out numbers each week. I haven’t been, and you won’t be either.
All stats through Thursday May 29.
The Giants have scored the most runs in baseball with 2 outs with 110. That’s 5 runs better than the second-best team, the Angels. The Giants have needed 139 hits while the Angels have needed more with 153.
Overall the Giants have scored 234 runs this season. The 110 runs scored with two outs is 47% of the total runs scored. They have scored 71 with one out, and 53 with nobody out.
I know what you’re thinking, it’s all those home runs. Judge for yourself. The Giants have hit 26 home runs with nobody out, 17 with one out, and 19 with two outs. They spread it around. Also worth noting, at least 26 of the 53 runs scored with nobody out came on home runs. There’s a lot of solo shots in there.
Growing up I was always taught by my father that a team should have at least one run for every two hits. It’s simplistic, but makes sense. Generally speaking if a major league team puts a couple of hits together, a run should score. That’s not even factoring in walks, hit batsmen, or errors leading to baserunners, which in theory leads to more runs.
The Giants are doing a great job at maximizing opportunities. They score a run for every 1.9 hits. With two outs they get even better. It drops to 1 run for every 1.3 hits. Maybe dad was on to something. I’m going to keep an eye on this.
Here’s this week’s top 10 on the toteboard, in order of most 2-out hits this season, with stats through May 29.
2-Out Hits Toteboard
Mike Morse 18/59 .305
Pablo Sandoval 17/72 .236
Buster Posey 16/62 .258
Hunter Pence 15/52 .288
Angel Pagan 12/45 .276
Brandon Hicks 10/51 .196
Brandon Crawford 10/48 .208
Brandon Belt 9/39 .231
Hector Sanchez 7/29 .241
Tyler Colvin 6/17 .353
As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, Mike Morse is a 2-out hits machine. Just yesterday he put the Giants ahead for good with an 8th inning 2-out double that scored 2 runs. He is hitting .290 overall, but with 2 outs it jumps to .305.
Pablo Sandoval has shot up the leaderboard lately. His batting average (.236) may not be as good as Morse, but he has been coming through lately. His numbers should continue to climb if he stays out of any prolonged slumps.
I’m not going to post the full list, but the Giants are the best in baseball when it comes 2-outs and runners in scoring position. They lead the majors with a .288 team batting average, 63 hits and 92 runs. To put that in perspective, the league average is .216, with 46 hits and 63 runs scored.
Needless to say, 2-out hits have been a great part of the Giants success after a couple of months this season. It may level off, it may continue to be league leading numbers. Who knows what will happen? All I know is, if the team continues the pace they are on, Giants fans will have a lot of October baseball to watch later this year.
On a quick sidenote, the toteboard is moving from Monday to later in the week for the rest of the season. Join me next week as I take a look at how the Giants pitchers have fared in the same 2-out situations.