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The Giants -- In play: Outs

Item #1

The average National League team hits .257/.327/.401 for an OPS+ of 95. The Giants as a team are hitting .262/.328/.402 for an OPS+ of 92. Other than a slight adjustment for park, the Giants are as average as average can be. No more, no less.

Item #2

The San Francisco Giants have an offense so bad, so frustrating, so putrid, that every inning I’m forced to watch, I want to squish guinea pigs to death with my bare hands, do a pagan dance on their cute, fuzzy remains, and howl, howl, howl at the sky, hoping the gods responsible for this horror are pleased with themselves.

At first glance it would appear that both Items #1 and #2 would be logically inconsistent. Mutually incompatible.

Then you get to the double plays. The Giants have hit into 23 more double plays than the average NL team. So if you’re looking the Giants just by their AVG/OBP/SLG splits, you’re not getting the entire story. What makes it more painful is that the Padres have only grounded into 38 double plays. Thirty-eight! That’s how many the Giants would have had last night if the game had gone extra innings.

Two theories, completely bereft of pesky "facts" or "research":

  1. The Giants are slow. Like, really slow. When asked if Bengie Molina, Pat Burrell, Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Freddy Sanchez, or Pablo Sandoval would win in a foot race, the only correct answer is "no." This has a little bit to do with the double plays.
  2. The Giants have been a little bit unlucky, and the Padres have been a little bit lucky. Not a lot, mind you. But the Giants aren’t hitting more ground balls than the average NL team, but when they do, it’s more likely that a runner is on first base with less than two outs. The Giants aren’t exactly getting runners on base at a prodigious rate, either, so that compounds the unluckiness even more.

It’s not comforting at all to think that double-playapalooza might be just a quirky bit of bad fortune. When a team is cursed, there’s no guarantee that they’ll snap out of it, even after the monkey paw is thrown away. I’ve never been the kind of writer who has understood linear weights or things like that, but I’d have to think that the extra 20 or 30 outs over the league average the Giants have given away is kind of a big deal – at least a win or two, if not more.

So is it bad luck? The comparative girth of the land mammals we have roaming the field? Something else?


Until we figure this out, maybe it’s best we didn’t see each other. Look, it’s not you, it’s me. It’s hard to explain. I’m just in a dark place right now.

Also, the San Francisco Giants should stop hitting into so many double plays.