Brian Sabean, if he were GM of the 49ers:
"What's more frustrating is that Arizona and San Diego had no more offense, but with pure pitching alone had the ability to finish games, which we haven't done. At this point and time, in our division it doesn't matter how many runs you score."
In case he isn't some sort of public relations genius, though, . In case he's serious, and in the 5% chance that some mocha-running lackey in the Giants' front office reads this site and can leave this post on a desk or two, I wanted the denizens of the site to produce a list of flaws in the logic. I'll start:
- Good point on the Padres, Brian. They had the best team ERA in baseball and one of the better bullpens in recent memory. Also, they didn't make the playoffs. You might think the great pitch/no-hit roster is a template for contending. I think it's a template for wasting good pitching. Something else to note is that they had the best ERA in baseball, and they had a better offensive team than the Giants. So even if the offense improves a little, a league-best ERA might not be able to get the Giants into the playoffs.
- The Diamondbacks were outscored for the season. Yes, some blowout losses contributed to that, but there's a reason why this kind of thing only happens once a decade: there's a heck of a lot of luck involved in what the Diamondbacks have done.
- Okay, don't believe #2. Maybe they're all clutch-masters from section nine. But your comments indicated that in the NL West status quo, a great-pitch/no-hit like the Padres should be in contention every year. This assumes that the other teams in the division won't improve from their current state. Please look at the Diamondbacks' roster. They have one player over 29 in their starting lineup. The rest of the players are likely to improve. Do you really think that Stephen Drew is this bad of a hitter? That Chris Young is going to post sub-.300 on-base percentages for the rest of his career? The no-hit/great-pitch paradigm isn't going to work forever. The Rockies have a scary offense, and if half of the young talent on the Diamondbacks or Dodgers come through, those teams will also be able to hit.
- It's ridiculous to settle for a poor offense just because the pitching will be good. Howzabout making the best team you can?