Giants in Scoring Position: 2013’s Not-So-Sad-Facts

By Stuart Jones
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Any Giants fan that has watched the games of the 2013 season will tell you they know they have seen other teams score a higher number of runs than their beloved Champions more often than not this year, and so that may lead to the perception that the Giants might be pretty abysmal when it comes to runners in scoring position. Sure, the Giants have scored only 63 runs in July (sixth fewest) and are tied with the Yankees for the fewest homers this month with seven, but that doesn’t necessarily paint a fair picture of how they’ve done with runners in scoring position for 2013. This team has not been without its opportunities, accumulating 1,035 plate appearances with runners in scoring position (RISP), fifth-most in the Majors this season. Other facts and rankings of what they’ve done this season with RISP:

  • Hits — 219, ninth (four ahead of the Dodgers)
  • Doubles — 56, second (one behind the Indians)
  • Sacrifice Flies — 34, tied for fifth (Red Sox)
  • Double Plays — 29, tied for thirteenth most (so that one’s not the best stat; Marlins lead with 40)
  • AVG — .254, tied for fourteenth best (not the best, but not the worst)
  • OBP — .333, sixteenth
  • BABIP — .286, twentieth
  • wOBA — .304, nineteenth
  • wRC+ — 95, twelfth
  • K% — 16.1%, fifth-lowest

So what I’ve gathered from all that, and surely you have noticed as well over the course of the whole season, is that the offense has been doing a decent job of putting up runs, especially when given the opportunity, it’s just the other side of the game that has failed the two-time-in-three-years Champs in 2013. Taken from Baseball Reference, here’s a list of the Giants players and they are ranked by a stat called RE24, a context-driven stat that considers how many runs a player has added depending on the bases occupied and outs there are. Note that “0” is considered average, anything above it is considered above average. You’ll never guess which Giant leads the charge.

Jul 21, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher

Buster Posey

(28) swings at the plate during the eighth inning in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT

Surprise! It’s Buster Posey at the top of the list, although it does make me a little sad that all-around nice guy Andres Torres is at the bottom. This further promotes the obvious hunch that the Angel Pagan injury has slowed down the Giants offense in 2013, even if Pagan wasn’t a particularly outstanding offensive contributor. Also, if you are very pro-Belt, you will likely be satisfied with this list as well, as some people seem to be shocked that someone batting in the middle third of the lineup gets a lot of opportunities to come through in the clutch.

Can the Giants continue to get their opportunities in the last fifty-one games of the season? Even if one hitter from the lineup gets traded, they certainly will, and despite their seasonal numbers, the Giants hitters need to do more to protect themselves from their inconsistent pitching staff (except you, MadBum).

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