clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants pitchers are having a miserable time getting left-handed batters out

Almost every Giants pitcher, from the bullpen to the rotation, has been better against righties than lefties. In some cases, the splits are absolutely freakish.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Giants are a sixth of the way through the 2016 season. I don't know how that happened so quickly, either. The good news is that they're in first place. The bad news is that the Dodgers haven't just won a game, they've won more than one. What a mess.

Overall, it's been a 60th-percentile kind of start for the Giants, though. They've won fewer games than hoped, perhaps, and there have been a couple injuries, but this is the team we should have reasonably expected. They have a chance to get better, too, as they don't have an obvious fluke -- say, Trevor Brown, but over 100 at-bats -- propelling the team in an unlikely fashion.

If there's something to worry about, it's that the Giants are having a miserable time getting left-handed batters out. The team-wide splits:

vs. RHB: .258/.316/.405
vs. LHB: .308/.361/.488

The right-handed splits are a little high, to be honest, considering how many games the Giants have played in AT&T and Dodger Stadium. But if a left-handed hitter comes up against the Giants, he's basically Brandon Belt. That's ... not a good thing.

A look at every pitcher's splits, in search of the biggest offenders:

Johnny Cueto
AVG/OBP/SLG allowed to RHB: .247/.280/.326
AVG/OBP/SLG allowed to LHB:.275/.311/.435

Madison Bumgarner
RHB: .274/.341/.453
LHB: .160/.222/.280

Jeff Samardzija
RHB: .200/.263/.286
LHB: .315/.362/.463

Jake Peavy
RHB: .327/.367/.545
LHB: .447/.490/.809

Matt Cain
RHB: .294/.356/.490

Santiago Casilla
RHB: .130/.200/.130
LHB: .250/.308/.583

Josh Osich
RHB: .278/.409/.611
LHB: .080/.148/.080

Cory Gearrin
RHB: .182/.200/.242
LHB: .400/.571/.400

Hunter Strickland
RHB: .259/.267/.296
LHB: .400/.500/.500

Javier Lopez
RHB: .000/.111/.000
LHB: .412/.444/.706

Javier Lopez's splits are like coming back to find that your babysitter has thoroughly cleaned your fridge but lost your kid. If you had to choose between having one of the two jobs performed well ...

But they're all in small samples, of course. Collectively, the Giants have faced left-handed batters in 403 plate appearances, right-handed batters in 627 plate appearances, which isn't a tiny sample either way. Broken down into their separate components, though, I'm not sure how much we should glean from Gearrin's seven plate appearances against lefties.

Actually, that's not true, I know exactly how much we should glean from seven plate appearances: Nothing, ever. For any baseball player, in any situation, until the end of time.

Still, I'm looking at those numbers and wondering exactly what I would expect to improve. Madison Bumgarner against righties, certainly, but that's not the problem at hand. I suppose Peavy could get better and allow lefties to hit .443 or .444 against him, so we can look forward to that.

The prescription is to wait and keep an eye on everything. Watch the samples stretch out and see where the continuing problems are. The three-run dinger from Joey Votto on Monday night happened because he's good at baseball. The following extra-base hit from Jay Bruce that almost went out? That's more indicative of what's been going wrong with the Giants this year, at least in the first month.