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Giants/Astros Series Preview

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Wait, wait, wait. We need to talk about this. You don’t get to just disappear into the sanctity of another series preview. We need to discuss this miserable offense now that it’s pulled off its mask, horror-movie-style. You’ll feel better afterward.

I have a feeling the only time the Giants think they’re using the term "sample size" properly is in this context:

Reporter: Mr. Neukom, Brian Sabean hasn’t built an offense that’s even come close to average in the past five years, and...

Neukom: Sample size! Small sample. You can’t judge him on it.

Reporter: I hardly think that’s true, in the last five years, the Giants have finished 29th, 24th, 29th, 29th, and 26th in runs scored out of 30 teams. This year they’re all the way up to 21st, but they’re sinking like a stone, and...

Neukom: Sample size! You really need a decade to see how these things shake out.

Oh, and we’ll get that decade. We can look forward to these cycles over and over again. Giants win through the strength of their starting pitching, scoring just enough runs to win, getting a hit/sac fly/error at just the right time in the late innings, and everything looks great. Then the Giants lose despite the strength of their starting pitching, scoring just enough runs to lose, allowing a hit/sac fly/error just at the wrong time in the late innings, and everything looks awful. These cycles will continue at varying lengths until the Giants finish between 78 and 88 wins. The Aristocrats!

Which brings us back to the Astros, who are kind of like the Ghost of Giants Future. They have some decent, if inconsistent, starting pitching, but they can’t hit a lick. And there but for the grace of Lincecum go we: several games under .500, one real threat in the lineup, a couple of vets sprinkled around for posterity, some wretched contracts, drifting aimlessly until the offseason, which is where the sub-mediocre veterans lurk in free agency. If something happens to the pitching -- though pitching is usually just so darned stable -- we’re the Astros. They even have their very own Bocock.

Hitter to watch:

Now that I’ve dropped an unfair Bocock comp on Tommy Manzella, he’s going to have six doubles in the series. I’m sorry, Tommy! I meant to write "they even have their very own Burriss!"

Pitcher to watch:

Roy Oswalt is 4’2", he’s lost a tick off his fastball, and his back is filled with angry fire ants. Yet he’s pitched seven or more innings in his last five starts, and he’s still one of the coolest pitchers out there. Oswalt is going up against Tim Lincecum on Saturday in a game that’s expected to last 47 minutes. Will it end on a walk-off bloop single from Oswalt? Only time will tell. But, yes.

Prediction:

You don’t feel better. I was lying to get you to read the rest of the post.