With 36 games left to play, the San Francisco Giants have hit more home runs than in any season since 2010.
That’s . . . worth celebrating? A little bit? I think?
The Giants have hit 137 home runs, more than they hit in any of the previous eight seasons. And they’re certainly on pace to surpass 2010’s total of 162.
There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, the Giants are finally starting to get on the home run train, and evolve with the times. Hitting the ball over the fence is conducive to scoring runs, I’ve been told, and the Giants seem more interested in implementing that bizarre strategy than at any other point since Barry Bonds was lacing up cleats on a nightly basis.
On the other hand, we are in the juiced ball era, and, despite their increase, the Giants 137 dingers puts them at just 13th in the National League, 36 big flies behind the league average. Even when you adjust for the fact that they play in a literal big fly funeral home, the Giants just aren’t particularly good at getting four-base hits.
Still, improvements are worth celebrating. Let’s look at not just how many home runs the Giants have relative to their recent years, but how frequently they’re hitting them:
2019: 137 home runs (one every 35.0 plate appearances)
2018: 133 home runs (one every 46.0 plate appearances)
2017: 128 home runs (one every 47.9 plate appearances)
2016: 130 home runs (one every 48.2 plate appearances)
2015: 136 home runs (one every 45.2 plate appearances)
2014: 132 home runs (one every 46.1 plate appearances)
2013: 107 home runs (one every 57.6 plate appearances)
2012: 103 home runs (one every 60.2 plate appearances)
2011: 121 home runs (one every 50.3 plate appearances)
When looked at from that lens, the improvement is notable, even if the Giants are lagging well behind the dinger-hitting behemoths of the world, who, in what I’m sure can only be described as a crazy coincidence, are also the World Series heavyweights.
San Francisco has some catching up to do. But they’re trending upwards.