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Giants waste hits, runners, hopes, dreams


Thearon W. Henderson

Omen #1
Kirk Rueter was there. He is a magic human being. How magic? Here's a list of pitchers with winning percentages over .575 in the expansion era, sorted by strikeouts per nine innings. You know who is at the top. This is because he's magic. And for years, he's been known as a good-luck charm for the Giants.

He couldn't help them.

Omen #2
The last Giants player to get five hits without scoring a run was Mike Benjamin. That's it, that's the omen. Mentioning Mike Benjamin qualifies as an omen.

Omen #3

Omen #4
The National Anthem

Other omens included bad hitting, bad pitching, bad fielding, bad at-bats at the wrong time, good at-bats at the wrong time, bad everything, and Jeff Francoeur in a Giants uniform.

We're here. The point of the season where everyone can agree that it just might not be the Giants' year, and that they should explore the options of a team that knows it isn't their year. First, though, a link to all of the losses with 15 hits or more. They're averaging one a month now! Cool, cool. And then a list of the 15-hit games with three runs or fewer … oh, that fits in a table? Cool, cool.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt
1 2011-09-13 SFG SDP W 3-2
2 2006-08-09 SFG ARI L 3-5
3 1992-08-08 SFG CIN L 3-4
4 1990-07-31 SFG HOU W 3-2
5 1984-07-13 (2) SFG PIT L 3-4
6 1982-07-17 SFG PHI L 3-5
7 1968-09-27 SFG CIN W 3-2
8 1967-09-01 SFG CIN W 1-0
9 1946-06-04 NYG CHC L 2-3
10 1945-07-22 (1) NYG CIN L 1-2
11 1940-07-15 NYG CHC L 3-5
12 1928-07-28 NYG CHC W 3-2
13 1924-09-20 NYG CHC L 3-7
14 1917-07-30 NYG PIT L 3-4

Eh, at the very least you can go box-score hopping. In that 1924 game, for example, the box score had Sparky, Denver, Gabby, Hooks, High Pockets, Hack, Rosy, and Grover Cleveland. You can't get mad when you see names like that.

Alright, maybe a little mad.

So it's sell sell sell sell sell. Did you see that the Rangers are interested in Hunter Pence? The Rangers are getting twitchy with their prospects. Go go go go go go.

Except, here's what makes me sad about the 2013 Giants: I don't look at the roster with abject disgust. This isn't Dan Ortmeier batting behind Lance Niekro. This isn't a gaggle of never-weres and never-will-bes all fighting for scraps of at-bats they'll never see again. Buster Posey is the catcher. The young first baseman is having a good year. The old second baseman is having a good year. The defensive-minded shortstop is above the Bocock line. The youngish third baseman went through a rough patch, but he still seems like he's All-Star caliber.

Left field is a bit of a void right now. But the GIants had an okay center fielder, and they were able to replace him with an okay center fielder. The right fielder's having a good season. Then there's Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

That's a mighty okay start to a roster.

But the hits are in the wrong order on both sides of the ball. The Giants get kings when they're holding jacks. They get spades when they need hearts. The Giants would still be in this thing if they scored as many runs as they should have. Alas.

And it's not like they're going to trade for Mike Trout in December. The same roster is coming back, mostly. That's what makes the trade deadline so sad. There's no closure. Even if they trade for a couple of prospects, we'll spend all offseason wondering if the Giants were really this bad.

I have an idea. But I'm probably just bitter after tonight.

It was a lot more fun when the Giants were walking off every other game. It was a lot more fun when the Giants were in this thing. It was a lot more fun when the season hadn't started, and the Giants were still contenders. It was a lot more fun.

I miss Kirk Rueter.