Breaking down the hot and cold San Francisco Giants


The 2015 season has been feast or famine for the Giants thus far. So far, they’ve had five streaks of winning or losing at least five games.

Amidst their current five-game slide, they’ve given up first place to a Dodgers team that has had their own waves of ups and downs, albeit to less extremes. Just a few days prior to this losing streak, the Giants were coming off winning five in a row. Thankfully, the wins outnumber the losses, but if they don’t find a way to find some consistency then they could bury themselves in a hole and allow Los Angeles to tighten its stranglehold on the division.

Pitching is usually the key to breaking a bad slide, but to win or lose so many consecutively, things all have to be working together. This is how this season’s streaks have come about so far.

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April 10th – 17th:  7 losses, Run Differential -27

This season looked like it would be a disaster not long after it started. After the fourth game of the season, the team derailed to lose seven straight. During those seven games, neither the offense or pitching performed well. They were shutout seven times and scored only 15 runs, coming out to an average of barely two runs scored per game. And those numbers are skewed by one good performance—six runs in a loss to the Diamondbacks.

The pitching was almost equally woeful, allowing an average of six runs per game.

May 1st – May 5th: 5 Wins, Run Differential +15

The month of May began the Giants climb back to contention. During this streak, the pitching took over by allowing only six runs over five games. This dominating performance was capped off by three-straight shutouts started by Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong.

The offense did its part by outpacing the Angels in game two of this streak by plating five runs, but also never caught fire, as their best performance was a six-run effort against the Padres.

May 15th – 23rd:  8 Wins, Run Differential +33

The big run for the Giants began in mid-May with a 10-2 thumping of Cincinnati. That win sparked an offensive explosion in which they would average over seven runs per game over the next week.

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As good as the offense was, it was the pitching that shined brightest by giving up 0 runs to the Dodgers during a three-game sweep. Tim Hudson, Lincecum and Bumgarner were the starters in those three games, and Bumgarner stepped up at the plate as well, homering off Clayton Kershaw.

This extended winning streak showed the rest of the league that the Giants are still a force to be reckoned with in 2015.

May 25th – 29th: 5 Wins,  Run Differential +18

After winning eight in a row, two consecutive losses to Colorado were a minor bump in the road for the Giants as they went on to win their next five. A series with the struggling Brewers helped ignite the offense to a sweep before a pair of W’s against Atlanta.

As they did in their early May run, the team performed well as a whole. The pitching never gave up more than four runs and the offense never scored fewer than three—they picked each other up and performed in clutch situation. The teams’ confidence and chemistry was on full display during this stretch.

May 30th – June 3rd: 5 Losses,  Run Differential -18

The current team stands in stark contrast to the the ball club of just one week ago. A blowout loss to the Braves in which the bats were put on ice followed by a heartbreaking loss which saw Atlanta come back to win in the ninth has kept the team in the doldrums.

The offense has been pedestrian, but the pitching has been downright terrible. They haven’t allowed less then four runs in any game over the past week and have yielded seven or more in three out of the five. Hopefully, the resurgent Lincecum can come out and right the ship against the the same team that kickstarted their longest winning streak—the Reds.

The first half of this season has been a rollercoaster for the Giants. A little consistency would go a long ways towards helping the cardiac functions of the fans and Manger Bruce Bochy. Only a game and a half back a resurgent winning streak could allow the team a small comfort zone to begin summer.

Next: Tyler Beede Interview