Yesterday, in his recap, Grant noted that the possibility of Joe Panik getting to .300 on the year will be a fun thing to root for. And it’s true! Like in everything the Giants have done this year, we should expect disappointment, of course, but it’s still nice to see a Giants player’s statistic hit an arbitrary round number. So what other Giants could make their numbers look better over the last nine games of the season?
This is going to be such a theme writing about the 2017 Giants that I might not even mention it again in the article (like Kurt Vonnegut said, use your reader’s time in a way that they won’t feel it’s wasted), but just to be clear: everyone on the team has had an extremely disappointing year. This is especially true for Crawford, who this year followed up three years having his wRC+ over 100 with a year of it being at 83. Now, some of this is the offensive environment — his raw slash line isn’t terribly different from 2013, when the same stats gave him a wRC+ of 93 — but he’s also hitting in this offensive environment, so the fact that he’s not doing better is a point against him.
So what can he do to make his numbers look a little bit better? Well, for him it’s easy. Crawford is currently hitting .246/.299/.400 on the year with 14 homers. It would be nice to get that up to .250/.300/.400 with 15 homers, because a .250 hitter does seem like someone who hasn’t had an out and out terrible year, and you can’t really say that for a .240 hitter.
What would Crawford have to do over the last nine games to hit those numbers? Assuming 35 plate appearances, if he went 10 for 33 with one homer, one double, and two walks, that would do it. That is entirely doable! Brandon Crawford can feel free to hit much better than that, of course, but that small change in his numbers would be good enough to make them much shinier.
Injury problems aside, Slater’s had a relatively productive major league debut this year, hitting .282/.339/.402. But what if — and stay with me here — what if he could hit .300? That would be something to hang his hat on, at least when he’s off the field, because when you’re playing baseball you are actually supposed to wear your hat. Anyway, Slater still isn’t healthy enough to play every game, so let’s assume he gets 19 ABs before the end of the season. He would have to go 8 for his last 19 to hit .300. Then, doing roster planning for next year, we could all assume he would be a starting caliber outfielder instead of a nice complementary piece, and be horribly disappointed when he doesn’t start every day and is only okay when he does play, but why is this other, much older guy playing every day when he’s not actually good anymore and Slater could be good, he could be good, man, what the hell Bochy, what are you doing, why are you ...
Sorry, I got a little carried away there. Anyway, .300! Wow! Pretty cool!
Jones looked awful in his first stint in the majors, resembled a major league hitter in August, and is back to looking awful again. This happens with young hitters, of course, but it’s still not much fun to see or, I’m sure, experience. Still, he can salvage something by getting his average, currently .182, over .200 by the end of the year. Assuming 25 ABs, he’ll have to go 8 for 25. As an extra bonus, this would also get his slugging percentage over .300! It’s the little things in life, really.
He’s currently at 197.1 innings and 3.9 fWAR, and I feel confident that if he strikes a bunch of guys out and avoids walking too many, he can get to 200 and 4.0. Plus, if he wins a game, that’ll be a 10 win season. That’s fine.
Matt Moore has given up a lot of runs this year! Have you noticed that? Well, his ERA is 5.20 (worst in the National League!) and every Giants fan everywhere has been talking about how bad he’s been this year, so yeah, you’ve probably noticed it. Anyway, did you know he can actually get that ERA under 5? It’s true! It’s gonna be difficult, but if, in his last start of the year, Moore either pitches at least 7.1 scoreless innings or he pitches 9 innings giving up 1 run, then that ERA will drop to a sweet, sweet 4.99. It’s something to root for, at least.
The whole team
Don’t lose 100 games, you ding-dongs. The Giants can go 3-6 and finish the season 63-99, which is a terrible, terrible record, but at least it’s not 100 losses. They completed step 1 in Grant’s master plan, which was the hardest part. Now it’s time for them to win three dang games over the rest of the year to avoid being the worst team in San Francisco history. Do they deserve to not be called that? No, probably not. Is this a team whose entire ethos is to disappoint people who care about them and want them to do well? Yes, absolutely. Is not losing 100 still something for them to try for? Sure is!
You can do it, individual players. You can do it, team. Now go out there and play like you’re good at this, ignoring all the evidence from this year showing that you’re really, really not.