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San Francisco Giants: 5 highs, 5 lows from the first half

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 03: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Kevin Pillar #1 after hitting a solo home run to break a tie game in the 11th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Giants won 12-11 in 11 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 03: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Kevin Pillar #1 after hitting a solo home run to break a tie game in the 11th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 3, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Giants won 12-11 in 11 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JUNE 22: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 22, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants won 7-4. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

No. 3 Lowlight: The disappointing individual performances

Several players on the San Francisco Giants have fallen well short of expectations.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford has been by far the biggest letdown of 2019. After starting the All-Star Game in 2018, he’s hitting just .223 with a 70 OPS+, which means he’s producing at a rate roughly 30 percent below league average. He’s still playing good defense, but those are cringeworthy offensive numbers.

After a breakout rookie season, Dereck Rodriguez is not even on the MLB roster as the second half begins. The same goes for Steven Duggar, who was expected to be the everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter this year.

We’ve already touched on Pomeranz and Holland, who also belong on the list of duds.

Even Madison Bumgarner has been disappointing to a certain extent, as he’s by no means having an ace-caliber season with a 4.03 ERA in 19 starts.

No. 3 Highlight: The bullpen

The San Francisco Giants bullpen has been one of the team’s few consistent strengths this year.

The relief corps currently ranks among the MLB leaders in ERA (3.90, sixth) and WHIP (1.23, fourth), and they’ve converted 24-of-28 save chances thanks to a perfect 24-of-24 showing from All-Star closer Will Smith.

Meanwhile, Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson have all been fantastic in setup proles.

Most of the time, when it gets into the later innings, this group has given you the sense that the game is in good hands.

That said, the trade deadline could rip the bullpen to shreds since all four of those guys have value. At the very least, it seems likely that free-agent-to-be Smith will be on the move, which will leave a hole in the ninth inning.

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