clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Winning a Series with Five Runs or Less: How Rare Is It?

The Giants have two series wins this season in which they’ve scored five runs or less for the entire series. Hey, that’s kind of quirky, I thought. Maybe it would be worth it to go through the schedules from previous years and see when the last time that happened was.

It started as an innocent question. It turned into something that defeated me. It was like eating a canister of Pringles; by the end, you aren’t tasting potato chips, you just taste salty, mustachio-flecked mush. I fell asleep with a laptop on my lap, and that was almost certainly sterilizing me. Don’t ever tell me that I haven’t made sacrifices for this site.

I made it to 1979. In the past thirty years, the Giants have won just one series in which they scored five runs or less. The Giants took two of three from the Dodgers from June 23rd to June 25th, 2003, even though the Giants only scored five runs.

That answers the question about five runs in a series, but the Giants only scored four runs in a series win against the Diamondbacks early this year. I went back to check 1968 – one of the most pitching-heavy seasons of the modern era – and a four-run series win didn’t even happen then. The Giants had two series wins in ’68 in which they scored five runs, and that includes two-game series. The team ERA that year: 2.71.

It’s rare that the Giants have lost a three-game series when scoring four runs. That kind of hitting futility just doesn’t happen that often, win or lose.

Grand summary point: Don’t get used to this. Tell your friends and your family that we’ve just seen two series wins that are almost as uncommon as perfect games. Tell the world. Because right now, there are people thinking, "Well, yeah, pitching is 80% of the game, and any of our starters can throw a shutout every time out. We just need to scratch one or two runs out, and we’ll be fine." That’s crazy talk. Unfortunately, there’s a little anecdotal evidence to support theory now.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled at the wins. The Giants are making a habit of taking two games out of a three-game series, and it’s been fun. But either the offense needs to improve, even just a little bit, or the fun stops. You know that. I know you know that. You know I know you know that. It’s even more of a historic anomaly than we might have realized, though. Here’s hoping that they actually hit a little bit.