Paul Goldschmidt and the greatest Giant-killers in history

Ezra Shaw

Is Paul Goldschmidt on a Bagwellian pace? What's a Bagwellian pace? Oh, I hope this post doesn't have any Michael Tucker in it. A look at the players who have hit their best against the Giants.

Paul Goldschmidt is as annoying as he is terrifying. He should be a fearsome-but-pitchable strikeout machine like Mark Reynolds, but it's more like he's wearing a robotic Jeff Bagwell exoskeleton, and someone should do something, dammit. Like assemble a group of superheroes who don't like each other but eventually learn to like each other as they work together because they have no choice and then they end up being a team who work really well together even though remember how they didn't get along at first that was funny.

Something like that. Assemble them and give Goldschmidt a real stern talking-to, that's what I say.

But is Goldschmidt an all-time Giants menace already? Does he already belong on a list with Bagwell and Gary Sheffield? To the stats! Here are the players with at least 100 at-bats against the Giants, ranked by OPS:

1 Mark McGwire 37 1.199 168 26 4 0 16 31 45 40 .283 .482 .717 1.199
2 Hank Leiber 46 1.144 170 25 7 1 12 43 23 20 .366 .461 .683 1.144
3 Jeff Bagwell 136 1.105 604 113 39 3 32 115 100 104 .348 .465 .640 1.105
4 Chris Iannetta 56 1.096 201 23 11 2 7 27 46 36 .338 .510 .586 1.096
5 Michael Tucker 42 1.092 132 26 9 0 8 25 14 15 .360 .443 .649 1.092
6 Kevin Mitchell 44 1.078 159 21 10 1 9 22 21 21 .355 .440 .638 1.078
7 Gary Sheffield 128 1.060 550 95 20 1 34 91 99 54 .330 .449 .611 1.060
8 Ryan Braun 44 1.047 189 34 14 3 11 31 18 43 .331 .402 .645 1.047
9 Dick Allen 134 1.040 568 98 25 5 34 94 76 129 .335 .422 .617 1.040
10 Paul Goldschmidt 30 1.033 123 20 7 1 7 23 20 25 .310 .423 .610 1.033

As the years pass, you wonder if you were making too big of a deal about Bagwell and Sheffield, as if you were caught up in something that doesn't make any sense now. Nope. Nope, that was all real. Bagwell basically played a full season against the Giants, and he put up what would have been one of the greatest seasons ever from a first baseman.

McGwire's line was mostly built off his time in the NL, when he put those numbers up against everyone, but he was still the most feared hitter I've ever watched. Well, feared from the Giants' perspective, at least. Hank Leiber is interesting because he was a former Giant who went to the Cubs and demolished Giants pitching for two-plus seasons.

Most of us remember Michael Tucker for costing the Giants a draft pick in the best draft in baseball history, but before he was a starting right fielder for the Giants, he was worse than Paul Goldschmidt. Maybe not after you adjust for era, actually. But close enough. This is why the Giants probably acquired Tucker, and why they figured he was worth more than a silly ol' draft pick. When you start making fun of that mindset -- "Let's get all of the players who are good against us!" -- you notice Kevin Mitchell and quiet down. Hey, it worked once.

Inspired by Tucker, a lineup of Giants acquired after they murdered the Giants:

C - Milt May (.842)
1B - Andres Galarraga (.886)
2B - Freddy Sanchez (.841)
SS - Alvin Dark (.807) (mostly put up after leaving the Giants, but no one else qualified)
3B - David Bell (1.026)
LF - Moises Alou (.960)
CF - Ellis Burks (.988)
RF - Michael Tucker (1.092)

Can't even fit Barry Bonds's .955 mark on there. Deion Sanders also hit .323/.380/.524 against the Giants, which says a lot, if you're looking for a true center fielder.

Scott Hairston? He's 235th on the list, literally tied with Ruben Rivera (.820 OPS). It's the timing of Hairston's homers, not the frequency.

Here's the entire list. But if you were wondering if Paul Goldschmidt was an all-time Giants menace, here you go. He is, albeit at a very early stage. All he needs is more at-bats.

Which, if we assemble some sort of team like I was talking about, he doesn't have to get. The first thing we need to find is a crazy-yet-brilliant billionaire to fund the whole thing. You know my e-mail address.

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