Because the San Francisco Giants’ pitching has been so good this season, people think their run differential (-12 after Monday night’s 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that was more boring than the score indicates) shows they’re a .500 team. Actually, they’re a .650 pitching staff with a .350 offense — and that last number’s referring to winning percentage, not batting average.
This offense has dipped way below the point of hopeful optimism and into the bin of woeful dread. They’re horrible, and the reinforcements (Carlos Beltran, Jeff Keppinger and Orlando Cabrera) haven’t done the impossible: make the rest of this group better.
Of course, it would help if Beltran didn’t strain his wrist, or if Keppinger hit anything other than singles (and didn’t let every ball pass him that bounces further than 3 feet to either side of his body), or if Orlando Cabrera wasn’t 53. But the Giants’ offensive troubles have been so pronounced since losing Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez that a few deadline trades were never going to be enough.
Since the All-Star break, the Giants have scored 3 runs or more 11 times in 27 games. But that’s not even the craziest, most depressing statistic related to the Giants’ run-scoring abilities. Here comes trouble, in three easy installments:
1. The Giants are on pace to score 557 runs this season.
2. The last time the Giants scored that few runs in a season was in 1985, when the Giants went 62-100 and scored 556 runs.
3. If the Giants do the absolutely possible and end up with 555 runs this season, they will have scored the fewest runs per game (3.43) of any Giants team except the 1902 squad, which scored 405 runs while going 48-88-5, scoring an average of 2.87 runs per contest.
But hey, at least the Giants have a mini-controversy to distract everyone from the ongoing offensive nightmare. Aaron Rowand, despite a storybook run in San Francisco capped by a captivating 0-for-4 effort on Monday night, doesn’t feel quite the same about playing in The City as he did when he repped the Windy City. Behold the interview in the Chicago Sun-Times Rowand will be asked to explain tomorrow afternoon:
Joe Cowley: Thing you miss most about playing for Chicago?
Rowand: Wearing the road uniform. And you know why? Because it said ‘Chicago’ across the front. I got goose bumps every time I would put it on.
JC: Not so with San Francisco?
Rowand: [Pause] Let’s talk about the Bears again.