Taking a pitch: A short look at the failings of the SF Giants

The Giants are an awful, awful offensive team; this isn't much in dispute. You can scream about it (and I have - if I had to pay a quarter for every time I've sworn here, I could pay off Renteria's contract), but there are limitations to what an awful team can do to improve its raw hitting ability as it, were. Nonetheless, the single most frustrating thing about this team is that the hitters repeatedly show a complete and total lack of patience - and worse, the idiots running the team (Bochy, Carney, Dunston) seem to do nothing about it.

A look at the numbers, to start, with the Optimist and the Realist:

Realist: Just how bad, are the Giants offensively? Coming into the game, lets look at the simplest measure - OBP. Major league baseball:

1. Yankees - .359

2. Dodgers - .353

3. Angels - .351

4. Indians - .349

5. Rays - .349


Avg: .333


28.Royals - .314

29. Reds - .310

30: Giants - .310

Optimist: OBP is a measure that is still heavily dependent on hitting; the Giants suck, but their low OBP is a product of them not hitting well, not a lack of patience. All the magic in the world can't teach Edgar Renteria to hit a Jonathan Broxton fastball, or allow Scott to hit a slider.

Realist: Pure hitting suckage? Heathen. Lets look at team BB instead

1. Yankees - 471

2. Rays - 468

3. Red Sox - 460

4. Rockies - 445

5. Nationals - 441


Avg: 383


28. Royals - 302

29. Mariners - 296

30: Giants - - 248

Realist: Lets ponder the depths of the Giants putridity at taking a walk here, shall we? Not only does the team rank dead last in baseball in BB's, they have a 20% deficit as compared to the team in 29th place.


Optimist: Well, maybe the lack of walks is a product of them taking pitches, but not taking good pitches - right? There's got to be some upside to the number of pitches they take, right? Please god, right? Oh god, you're pulling out another data table aren't you?

Pessimist: ....


1.Rockies - 3.99

2. Rays - 3.98

3. Indians - 3.95


Avg: 3.84


28. Braves - 3.69

29. Cardinals - 3.66


30. Giants - 3.60

Optimist: (now flailing around for an excuse): while this team is awful at taking walks, they must make up for it in some way; they get the ball into play, hustling and grittying like the veteran-savvy team they are. Why, I bet they get the ball into play a lot. Nerd - they don't K, they play baseball the right way. Why don't you go back into your mom's basement?

Pessimist: in my mom's basement, I looked at the BB/K statistics. For funsies.

BB / K ratio.

1. Yankees - 0.69

2. Mets - 0.65

3. Red Sox - 0.59

4. Dodgers - 0.59


27. Mariners - 0.42

28. Royals - 0.41

29. Rangers - 0.36


30. Giants - 0.31

Optimist (sobs uncontrollably): Make the bad man stop showing me numbers!

Pessimist: just one more set. yes... just one more set. And because I don't know HTML (hey, I never said I was a good nerd), I'll just link directly to the source.

For reference, lets look at:

a. O-Swing (% of pitches swung at outside the zone)

1. Yankees - 21.9%

2. Dodgers - 22.4%

3. Indians - 22.5%

4. Brewers - 22.7%


27. Astros - 27.4%

28. Rangers - 28.1%

29. Mariners - 29.1%

30. Giants - 31.9%

b. F-Strike (first strike %, or how often the teams hitters are at an 0-1 count)

1. Phillies - 55.5%

2. Yankees - 56.0%

3. Orioles - 56.8%

4. Indians - 57.1%


27. Twins - 58.9%

28. Reds - 60.5%

29. Rangers - 60.6%

30. Giants - 61.0%

Optimist: Okay, just so I'm clear here, you're suggesting the the Giants are dead last in:

- taking pitches

- BB's,

- OBP,

- first-strike counts,

- and swinging at pitches in the strike zone.

And thus potentially, a team that hacks at eveyrthing, thus leading itself into bad counts, takes just enough pitches to strike out but not to walk, usually swings at a first pitch outside the zone, thus leading to being on the defensive for the rest of the AB's, is responsible for its offensive problem?You're also suggesting that despite this analysis which could your average 3- year crack baby could understand, the team's approach has been to rank dead-last in pitches per plate appearance and swing at everything in sight?

Pessimist: Yes.

Optimist: But does it capture Rich Aurillia's grit and veteran moxey?

Pessimist (shoots optimist).

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