Giants score two runs, still lose to Nationals

It's Spanish for "Dustin Hermanson" - Patrick McDermott

The Giants scored two runs with two outs tonight. One came on an error. The other one came on a seeing-eye single.

Progress!

But I'll be honest with you: I'm a little worried about the Giants' lineup. They had runners again. The runners didn't score again. Joaquin Arias had four hits in five at-bats. The hitless at-bat came with two runners on base. I've never seen a Giants team like this except for the last few times. In their last 10 games, the Giants are 13-for-80 with runners in scoring position. That's a .163 average for the math-declined. It's felt worse. Probably because some of those hits didn't score the runner in scoring position.

That's a problem. A real, ugly problem. There isn't a magic fix; the way to hit better with runners in scoring position is to hit better with runners in scoring position. It's not like extra time in the cage or a Pilates regimen is going to help. They can't go out and get better clutch hitters. You know what the Giants would have done this offseason if they wanted better clutch hitters? They would have signed up all the players from the team that won the World Series with timely hitting. That alternate reality just merged with this horror show, and now we're in the same spot.

Put aside the runners in scoring position for a minute. There's a bigger problem. And unlike the RISP, this one probably isn't going to fix itself. I have a statistic for you. It's a fun fact, even. Who's ready for a fun fact? I'm ready for a fun fact.

At the end of May, the Giants were 29-25 and 1½ games out of first. Since then, the Giants have gone 23-40. That's not the fun fact.

Since the start of June, the Giants have hit 27 home runs. Chris Davis has hit 25.

That's the fun fact.

Wheee.

And that's the bigger problem. The only way the Giants can score runs is to string together hits. When they can't do that, it's painfully obvious. Especially because the other teams can hit home runs. They hit them all over the place. They don't need to string hits together. Not every single time. They'll get a walk and a homer, and it's like some sort of unearthly alchemy that we can't fathom. The "2" changes to a "4" on the scoreboard like lead transmuted into gold. All we can do is wonder where in the hell they got the philosophers' stone. I wonder if they'll let the Giants just hold it for an inning, or if they'll be total butts about it.

The Giants can't hit good news. But if you're not too worn out about that last fun fact, here's another one coming at you: This team is coming back next year. Like, the exact same team. Except they'll have a new left fielder, most likely. I'm going to put a 70/30 guess down on Hunter Pence coming back, but that's the only variable. The infield will be exactly the same. Pagan and Posey are coming back.

And when it comes to power-hitting outfielders on the market, the best one is probably Nelson Cruz. Who's serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. After that, there's Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran, neither of whom are going to want to come here.

I'll guess the Giants will pursue either Corey Hart or Mike Morse aggressively. There's your power. This team, plus Mike Morse. There's your revamped team. How does it look? After a loss like tonight, how excited are you about the 2014 Giants, who will probably be the same team? Maybe that team will sequence their hits better, but they aren't going to hit for a lot of power.

The Giants can't hit for power. The Giants can't hit with runners in scoring position. The Giants can't hit. That's the real problem, right? The Giants can't hit?

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Oh. Well, now I've forgotten what we were even talking about.

We were promised Madison Bumgarner. We got Guillermo Moscoso. As a metaphor for the entire 2013 season, that will do just fine.

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