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Saturday BP, 6/16/18

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You hear a faint creak. You can’t quite trace the source, but in your gut, you know it’s a portent.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Remember when they rolled into Philadelphia at 19-15? Since then, they’re 15-21. It’s the pitching that’s at fault, of couse. The ERA has gone from 3.72 in that 19-15 run to around 4.79 in this latter run. ERA is a bad stat to use, and I’m sorry, but the quick and dirty point is that the hitters seemed to have caught up with the pitchers post-Spring Training, especially Chris Stratton, and then Johnny Cueto went down.

The offense has actually improved over that span, raising the team OPS from .713 to .762, scoring more runs per game (from 4.1 to 4.3) and even averaging nearly a whole extra hit (8.7 per during the 19-15 run, 9.5 per now).

It’s not unfair to say this is the biggest start of the season for Madison Bumgarner. They can’t afford for him to be down much longer. The Marlins took it to them, but there’s no time to lick their wounds. If the Dodgers take this series or even sweep, the rest of the month will devolve into a frantic fight for survival.

The Giants need to do better than survive. They need to win.