Listen, it’s not as bad as you think. I know, the wound from last night’s no-hitter is still raw — and the cacophony of BART and Homer “Simpson” jokes, I’m sure, is only salting it. But we need not panic — nor even inquire about the progress of Joe Panik. Not even if you have three hours of radio to fill.
Larry Krueger: “THE GIANTS ARE CIRCLING THE DRAIN!!” Good news, Giants fans! He said this about the Warriors too!
— LOL KNBR Callers (@LOLKNBRCallers) July 3, 2013
Though I may be ignorant of the finer details of baseball — an ignorance that I’m actively cultivating, thankyouverymuch — I can’t but help to question the logic of Larry Krueger and those for whom he speaks. Sure, the Giants are currently a sub-.500 team. If they fail to win nine of their next 12 games, they will finish the first half of the season below .500 for the first time since 2008.
But what’s so wrong with turning back the clock to 2008? It was, after all, a year of hope and change — or hope-y and change-y, depending on your political leanings.
This year is no 2008, anyways. Benji Molina is not the team’s leader in home runs. I repeat: Benji Molina is not the team’s leader in home runs.
In fact, 2013 is shaping up to be very similar to 2012 — statistically, at least.
A look at selective data illustrates that the Giants success — or lack thereof — might be induced more by luck than player deficiencies.
There’s a buhzillion different statistical measures, and the sampling which I’ve focused on, above anything, illustrates the relative similarities between seasons. Though they may be taking fewer walks, they’re also striking out fewer times. They’re Isolated Power (ISO), On-base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG) pale only in comparison to 2010.
Even with runner’s in scoring position (RISP), the Giants are fairing about as well as they had in the past few seasons, if not better.
I was unfortunately not smart enough to find a split stats of the Giants’ performance with RISP, but still, the chart illustrates that perhaps the woes at the plate are not life threatening.
Their pitching issues might be, however.
The Giants are inducing far fewer ground balls than in the previous two seasons, which is made worse by the face that 10.6% of every fly ball given up by a Giants’ pitcher leaves the ball park. But, that aside, their strike outs and walks per nine are both better than they were this time last year. And their Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is consistent with 2010. As with batting, perhaps, it’s not the Giants’ pitching that has suffered, but the team’s luck. That combined with the fact that they’ve been without Ryan Vogelsong is reason enough to be optimistic.
Regardless, the season is long as it is tumultuous, and panic is not a very becoming or thoughtful take on a situation. I’m not discouraging you from panicing, anyways. It’s your fandom and you can cry if you wanna. But I would encourage you to step back from ledge a bit. Because when you’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it for what it really is.
Alas, if all this isn’t enough to ease your troubled mind, I will leave you with this: