With 10% of the season done, it's time for a check-up with Dr. Goofus, your friendly neighborhood Optimistrician and non-stat guy that tries to look at stats in a simple way.
First, let's get some bad out the way:
OK, if you were hibernating, woke up and saw just these numbers and nothing else, your reaction would probably be something like "Egad, all hope s lost already. Our pitching is regressing, we still can't hit and what happened to our defense? I bought these tickets to some games, you can have 'em."
Instead, as we all know, the team is 9-7, which puts them on a pace to win 90-91 games despite the troubling stats above. How are they doing it? It's a novel approach Giants fans probably aren't familiar with: "Scoring Runs". Through yesterday, the Giants are 5th in the NL in runs per game despite how bad they've been at hitting when we really want them to.
What's most encouraging to me is that, so far, theirs runs have not been fluky or cheap; the Giants are tied for 2nd in OPS+ with 111. They're also in the top 3rd of most of the fun offensive categories, so that's more evidence that they're earning these runs. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that they lead the league in not striking out.
For those not familiar with the Goofus Index (GI), it's pretty simple. Based on the concept of your results will be determined by how your offense and pitching/defense does overall. The simple way to do this is to add OPS+ and ERA+. It weighs the two evenly and accounts for park factors. (As a reference point, in 2010 the Giants lead the NL in GI and TGWTWS...science!)
It's very early, but the Giants have 625 PAs, so it's fair to start looking. (The biggest problem I have with it right now is that everybody hasn't played everybody, so its likely to be skewed by that.) Hey, look at this, the Giants are 4th in the league!
The defense and pitching are looking like they're much improved after the first few games, so that's encouraging. The offense is clearly the bright spot. Sure, there some having unsustainable years right now, but if their regression will be at least somewhat offset by normalizing the RISP results.
It's early and the sample sizes are small, but there's certainly reason to be cautiously optimistic!