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A simple request for the rest of the playoffs

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The all-pitch, no-offense Giants era hasn’t been around forever. In 2007, the Giants had a 22-year-old kid with great stuff and 16 losses, an unproven first-round pick, and a mercurial, young lefty pitching poorly in relief. There were pockets of hope, but there weren’t a lot of certainties.

A lot changed between 2007 and 2009. Cain grew up. Lincecum dominated. Sanchez emerged as a healthy part of a balanced major-league rotation. Suddenly, everyone was saying, please, just make it to the postseason. Just see what this rotation can do.

 

There were doubters. People who said, "Hey, Travis Ishikawa is a starting first baseman on a contending team like Pedro Feliz is a catcher. Even with this pitching, this offense is too repugnant to do anything in the playoffs." Okay. Fine. We amended the statement.

Please, just make it to the postseason with an average lineup. Just average. Please. Away with the Lance Niekros and Dan Ortmeiers and Randy Winns and Rich Aurilias and Dave Robertses and Eugenio Velezes. Just average. Don’t worry about trading the secret formula for Coke for Albert Pujols. Just go to Costco and buy an 8-pack of average hitters. Average. Average plus Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and the bullpen would make for an interesting postseason team.

Brian Sabean knew what he had to do. He acquired a bunch of players who were so bad or hurt that a bunch of average players would rise up and take their places in a bloodless coup. It was brilliant. And then on May 30th, Sabean signed Pat Burrell to a minor league deal on the same day Buster Posey was called up to the majors. Suddenly, the definition of average stretched a bit. Maybe the Giants could even mix in a few good hitters.

Sabean didn’t stop. He acquired solid players in Mike Fontenot and Cody Ross. A lineup that had Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria, Bengie Molina, John Bowker, and a hurt Mark DeRosa suddenly has players who are close to average at every position.


Giants OPS+
League OPS+
C
Posey - 129
98
1B
Huff - 138
124
2B
Sanchez -98
100
SS
Uribe - 99
98
3B

Sandoval - 95
Fontenot - 73

108
LF
Burrell - 132
113
CF
Torres - 119
104
RF
Ross - 93
114

 

Suddenly, the Giants have something close to an average, balanced offense. There aren’t any complete lineup-ruining monsters up there. Only at RF and 3B are the Giants far behind. Just as we were about to give up, the Giants built something we haven’t seen in years.

And they STILL CAN’T FREAKING SCORE. It’s been a wild NLDS, and the Giants are up two games to one, but they’ve done it without cracking the four-run barrier. After all of the pleading and praying for an average offense, we got the Daffy Duck sandwich in the middle of the desert that turns to sand when you take a bite.

I’m not trying to seem like a whiner. The Giants are up a game in the series because of otherworldly starting pitching that has been fantastic enough to keep the Giants in games even if they aren’t scoring. It’s unrealistic to expect starting pitching this good to continue. So it’s like we made our wishes on The Monkey’s Paw, and they keep getting twisted and warped. So let’s try it again.

Please, Giants, play in the postseason with an average lineup that will perform like an average lineup. Give us four or five runs every game. Like, maybe starting tonight. I can’t go gray this soon, I can’t. I still get zits – what kind of deformed monstrosity has gray hair and zits at the same time? That’s like a punishment a Greek god would give to a mortal who stole something from Olympus. So just start scoring. Please.

Thank you in advance, Giants. Dammit. Score runs. Prevent the other team from doing the same. Don’t even think about warping this, monkey paw. It’s a simple request.