Jun 17, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) recovers a booted grounder against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. The play was ruled a hit. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Now you see it, now you don’t. The San Francisco Giants’ bats have disappeared in the month of June, and base runners have been left stranded like Tom Hanks on a deserted island. And just like in Castaway, no one is coming to rescue them. They are going to have to figure things out, and wake up that slumbering lumber if they want to escape from the drudges of June.
Just to put the the contrast of May and June into perspective, let’s take a look at some of the numbers. In May, the Giants led the National League in runs (148), hits (302), RBIs (138), batting average (.291), and on-base percentage (.362).
The totals for June starkly detail the collapse we have seen from San Francisco thus far. As of June 17, out of the 15 teams in the NL, the club ranks 12th in runs (51) and batting average (.245), and 13th in hits (127) and RBIs (49).
The short-lived return of Hunter Pence was a shot in the arm for the team in May, but it coincided with a downhill spiral for Angel Pagan.
Angel was on fire to start the season, and was a perfect fit for the No. 3 spot in the lineup. In April, Pagan had a hit in 16 of the first 22 games, with 9 multi-hit games. But those numbers could not hold, and by the end of May, he found himself out of the top of the lineup. He just hasn’t been the same player since.
Can Pagan’s struggles be linked to a lack of confidence? In June, he only has one multi-hit game, and has gone 8-for-55 (.145) overall.
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Don’t get me wrong, this June drought has not been the result of one player. The Giants lead the NL in runners left on base (7.43/game). This statistic seems to tell it all, as lately there has been an epidemic of grounding into double-plays.
The defense seems to have lost its swagger a bit as well. Though the Giants fielders are committing errors at the same clip as a typical season and hovering around the league average in fielding percentage (.985), the mistakes are coming at untimely junctures, often leading to runs for the opposing team. Add that to a lack of production at the plate, and a bullpen that has seen better days, and those unearned runs can be the difference between a win and a loss.
This slump is not something that can’t be undone. The division-leading rivals down south are in the midst of the three-game losing streak, and the Giants are still only 2.5 games out.
It is imperative that they gain a little momentum heading into the All-Star break, though. Even with several key players returning to the lineup and rotation in the near future, there is no time to lose.