Breaking: The Giants aren’t going to end the season with four starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00. Bengie Molina isn’t going to finish the year with a .343 batting average, just as Edgar Renteria isn’t going to cruise into free agency as a .320 hitter. Guillermo Mota might not keep his 0.96 ERA up. Further updates as events warrant.
Fine. So there are a few players on the team who aren’t going to sustain their lofty performances to this point. On the other side, Mark DeRosa should be a better hitter than Tim Lincecum, John Bowker will eventually prove the haterz wrong, and Brandon Medders isn’t going to allow an average of two hits for each inning he pitches. Well, that last one might not be true, but work with me here.
But the more important point is that even though the Giants have benefited from a surprising number of hot hitters and pitchers, it isn’t necessarily leading to as many wins as it should. If you go by Pythagorean W-L, a team that allows 70 runs while scoring 108 in 24 games should be 17-7, not 14-10. So while the team ERA should climb up from 2.72 and the team on-base percentage probably isn’t going to stay at .343, the overall team winning percentage is more sustainable than it might seem. I think. Maybe. I hope. Work with me here.
This is all a long-winded prelude to a comment starter: Pick the fast-starter who you think will come closest to sustaining his performance, and also pick the one who is most likely to be a mirage. The list of fast starters is loosely defined as a) anyone in the lineup who isn’t Mark DeRosa or Aaron Rowand, b) anyone in the rotation who isn’t Todd Wellemeyer, and c) anyone in the bullpen who isn’t Brandon Medders. This team is getting a ton of great performances right now. At least a couple have to stick, right? Right? I think. Maybe. I hope. Work with me here.
Give me Aubrey Huff as the sustainable hitter, with Sergio Romo as the sustainable pitcher. It’s not like Huff is setting the world on fire, but his performance so far is close to a best-case performance for him that is still grounded in reality. And unfortunately timed late-inning extra-base hits aside, Romo is just this awesome. He just struck you out with a frisbee slider as you were reading this.
And while I’m thrilled that Nate Schierholtz is hitting so well after being blocked year after year by a parade of heavy-hitting outfielders – one slugger after another keeping the lineup afloat and the young outfielder in Fresno or on the bench – he probably has the furthest to fall, so I’ll sell a bit of my Schierholtz futures. If he does have a breakout season, it’s going to be a lot closer to .300/.340/.440 than to .345/.419/.509. With the defense that Schierholtz has been playing, though, it’s not as if I’ll complain if he dips a little.