San Francisco Giants: Need to Hit in Offensive Division
While the series against the Miami Marlins ended with a loss, the San Francisco Giants came away from the three-game set with plenty of positives. Sure, they won the first two games to take the series before Sunday ever came around. But that was enabled by a run-scoring barrage, in which the Giants scored more runs in these three games (19) than they scored in the previous seven games (18)—of which they lost six.
The main take-away? The Giants need to hit. And they need to hit against their division rivals.
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Sure, it’s the name of the game: score more runs than the other team, and to score runs you need to hit. But in the National League West, the Giants find themselves in a division full of formidable offenses. The 2-1 pitching duel will not be a reliable source of wins this year.
Four of the five NL West teams rank among the top seven National League teams in runs scored. The one exception is the punchless San Diego Padres. The Giants are right up there, scoring just about 5 runs/game, which is a little behind Colorado’s 5.5 runs/game and tad ahead of Arizona and Los Angeles, who are each at 4.9 runs/game.
Unfortunately, much of that run scoring has been against the Giants—14 of their first 20 games have been within the division, and none of those games came against the Padres. So, maybe that’s an indictment of Giants pitching? To a degree, sure. Madison Bumgarner could be sharper, and Matt Cain and Jake Peavy have combined for two quality starts out of eight total.
But during the Giants’ five-game losing streak, when they lost the last game in the series at Los Angeles and then dropped all four at home to the D-backs, they scored seven runs in one game but only four runs combined in the other four games.
That’s way too many listless offensive performances in a short period of time against division foes.
The good thing is that the Giants are only 3.5 games out of first place, so they haven’t dug themselves too big of a hole early in the season. And overall, the offensive numbers are decent. But the division is shaping up to be highly competitive, and so if the Giants are going stay in the race, their bats need to show up for division games.
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That starts with Buster Posey, who has been a little slow to start the season. Matt Duffy started to hit this past week, but the Giants could still use more out of him, as well as slight upticks from Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.