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The Giants are having historical dinger problems

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Scoop of the century, if true.

"Oh, sure, we've hit a bunch of *Plash* Hits. Those come easy. The other thing, though, is giving us problems."
"Oh, sure, we've hit a bunch of *Plash* Hits. Those come easy. The other thing, though, is giving us problems."
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers hit seven home runs against the Reds on Monday, the dummies. Now their dinger muscles will be sore when the Giants come into town on Tuesday. What a bunch of maroons.

The San Francisco Giants have hit just seven home runs all year. All of them came in blowout losses.

This Strange But True Baseball Fact™ was brought to you by 1-877-K ...

Okay, that might not be quite right. They’ve hit more than seven home runs this year. At least 20. Possibly 30. Most of them were very exciting! But the larger point — that they sure don’t hit many — stands. Brian Dozier of the Twins has hit 14 homers in 36 games since the second half started. The Giants’ team leader for home runs is Brandon Belt, who has hit 14 all season.

You don’t need to be told that AT&T Park has a lot to do with this. There have been just 96 home runs hit there combined all season (40 by the Giants, 56 by their opponents), so we have to be careful not to dinger-shame the Giants too much. There are some things that are out of the team’s control.

At the same time, this might be just the sixth time since the Giants moved to San Francisco that the team doesn’t have a single 20-homer hitter. Belt needs five more, and he’s the only Giants player who has hit five home runs in any month this year. He can still get to 20. But the odds are starting to drop.

The difference with this season, though, is that it’s a homer-happy season for almost everyone else. Home runs are up substantially around the league, and the ball might be to blame, but the effects haven’t trickled down to the Giants. Belt’s total of 14 home runs is remarkably low when adjusting for the average NL team — just over 10 percent of the average team total. That would be one of the lowest marks in team history:

Year Giants HR leader Leader's HR NL average HR by team Giants team leader as percentage of league average team
2008 Bengie Molina 16 163 .10
2016 Brandon Belt 14 136 .10
1975 Gary Matthews 12 103 .12
2005 Pedro Feliz 20 161 .12
2015 Brandon Crawford 21 152 .14
1986 Candy Maldonado 18 127 .14
2006 Barry Bonds/Ray Durham 26 178 .15
2012 Buster Posey 24 152 .16

I have no idea how to phrase that elegantly, and I’m tired of trying, so ... uh, you do it. The point is to show that the Giants’ team leader this year has far fewer homers than you might expect when you look at the average team in the NL. I'll bet there's a German word for it.

This one isn’t as clumsy. Here’s the Giants’ home run total as a percentage of the league-average team’s home run total:

Year Giants HR leader Leader's HR NL average HR by team Giants home runs Giants home runs as a percentage of league average team
2008 Bengie Molina 16 163 94 .58
2012 Buster Posey 24 152 103 .68
2016 Brandon Belt 14 136 101 .74
2013 Hunter Pence 27 144 107 .74
1980 Jack Clark 22 104 80 .77
2007 Barry Bonds 28 169 131 .78
2009 Pablo Sandoval 25 155 122 .79
2005 Pedro Feliz 20 161 128 .80
1975 Gary Matthews 12 103 84 .82
2011 Pablo Sandoval 23 143 121 .85
1974 Bobby Bonds 21 107 93 .87
2015 Brandon Crawford 21 152 136 .89
1986 Candy Maldonado 18 127 114 .90
1976 Bobby Murcer 23 93 85 .91
2006 Barry Bonds/Ray Durham 26 178 163 .92
1996 Barry Bonds 42 159 153 .96
1985 Bob Brenly 19 119 115 .97
2014 Buster Posey 22 135 132 .98
1977 Willie McCovey 28 136 134 .99
1992 Matt Williams 20 105 105 1.00
1960 Willie Mays 29 130 130 1.00
1998 Barry Bonds 37 160 161 1.01
2004 Barry Bonds 45 178 183 1.03
1999 Barry Bonds 34 181 188 1.04
1984 Chili Davis/Jeffrey Leonard 21 107 112 1.05
1981 Jack Clark 17 60 63 1.05
1979 Mike Ivie 27 119 125 1.05
1988 Will Clark 29 107 113 1.06
2003 Barry Bonds 45 169 180 1.07
2010 Aubrey Huff 26 150 162 1.08
1978 Jack Clark 25 106 117 1.10
1969 Willie McCovey 45 123 136 1.11
1995 Barry Bonds 33 137 152 1.11
1997 Barry Bonds 40 155 172 1.11
1994 Matt Williams 43 109 123 1.13
1958 Willie Mays 29 148 170 1.15
1959 Willie Mays 34 145 167 1.15
1970 Willie McCovey 39 140 165 1.18
1991 Matt Williams 34 119 141 1.18
1990 Kevin Mitchell 35 127 152 1.20
1993 Barry Bonds 46 140 168 1.20
2000 Barry Bonds 49 188 226 1.20
1965 Willie Mays 52 132 159 1.20
1968 Willie McCovey 36 89 108 1.21
1983 Darrell Evans 30 117 142 1.21
1971 Bobby Bonds 33 115 140 1.22
1961 Orlando Cepeda 46 150 183 1.22
2002 Barry Bonds 46 162 198 1.22
1982 Jack Clark 27 108 133 1.23
1989 Kevin Mitchell 47 114 141 1.24
1973 Bobby Bonds 39 129 161 1.25
2001 Barry Bonds 73 185 235 1.27
1967 Willie McCovey 31 110 140 1.27
1966 Willie Mays 37 138 181 1.31
1972 Dave Kingman 29 113 150 1.33
1987 Will Clark 35 152 205 1.35
1964 Willie Mays 47 121 165 1.36
1962 Willie Mays 49 145 204 1.41
1963 Willie McCovey 44 122 197 1.61

The full table was included to make you more impressed with the Giants of the '60s. Also, Ray Durham! Also also, the 2012 Giants ended up doing just fine, you know.

The Giants have hit fewer home runs than the league-average team just 19 out of their 59 seasons. Ten of those seasons have come in the last 17 years, since the Giants moved to AT&T Park. So, yeah, the park is a big deal when it comes to suppressing home runs.

Still, this is something of a historically dinger-free team for a franchise with an amazing dinger legacy. How rare is it not to have even one 20 home run hitter? Pretty rare. And don’t forget that they haven’t had a 30-homer hitter since Barry Bonds in 2004. Only the Royals can say the same.

The Giants are third in the NL in on-base percentage, but they’re just sixth in runs. The dearth of dingers is a big reason why, as they’re 14th in the league in home runs. They won’t finish last (thanks, Braves!), and they won’t finish with fewer than 100 like they did in 2008, but it would certainly be a lot cooler if they decided to hit more home runs.

Repeated for emphasis: It would certainly be a lot cooler if the Giants decided to hit more home runs. Maybe if we all close our eyes and wish really, really hard. Also, don't think about how four percent of the team's home runs were hit by pitchers, and that will help you feel better, too.