Early April is always a tough time for a fan to watch. It is a time when every team is in the race, so more fans have interest. But it is also the time for over-exaggeration.
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It’s a marathon right? Keep saying it, keep saying it. It’s only April, right? Keep saying it, keep saying it.
It is a real concern when a team is getting beaten several different ways, but mainly with a lack of offense. It isn’t much solace to fans of the team right now to know that it is a long year, but it is.
The starting staff is throwing quality innings as a whole, and with the exception of an inning here and there, they are not to blame during this losing streak.
It is fascinating to see a lineup with such a good approach at the plate struggle like they are. But it’s that very fascination that provides hope for the future, the stats normally end up where they are supposed do. So when the tides shift again, the ship will sail straight again.
Both Matt Duffy and Joe Panik have had some hard luck at bats, and the key stat to look at is BABIP (Batting Average on Balls put In Play). Duffy and Panik are both career .327 hitters on balls put in play, Duffy is hitting .224 and Panik .235 in that category.
It’s important to understand that eventually these balls will find holes, as long as they stick with what they have done in the past.
Call to the Pen
The more difficult thing to stick with is the numbers that the pitching staff is putting up. The 2014 Giants were a team that had a tough time scoring at the beginning of the season, especially for Matt Cain. As an article on April 19th 2014 by Henry Schulman showed, hitting was the more inconsistent facet of the game coming out of spring training. But the end of that season was definitely one that would be acceptable for 2016.
It stings right now because fans want to see the players perform well so they get and keep their confidence up and win games. Some teams are also playing over their heads right now, and may peak too soon. Not to say you want to lose a game or a series, but it just doesn’t hurt as bad as if the team wasn’t showing maximum effort.
So right now, it’s okay to be upset about being swept in a four-game series and home to a division rival. And it’s okay to question whether or not Jake Peavy will finish the season in the rotation. And, of course, the bullpen’s injury situation does test the depth. But it is still early.
The lineup should feel confident and know that they have the right approach, and those balls will find holes.