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Wednesday BP: The state of the defense

It’s not great!

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, baseball fans!

It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants have been struggling lately. And for me, it’s starting to give a sense of deja vu. A slow motion train wreck you’re being forced to watch and you can’t look away, but boy do you want to. If that sounds familiar, you might have also witnessed the train wreck that was the second half of the 2016 season.

The difference, of course, being that the Giants were actually a really good team going into the All Star break that year and then the San Diego Padres (who hosted the event that year) sucked the mojo right out of them, and they spent the next few months finding new and creative ways to horrify their fans with head-scratching losses.

The 2022 Giants are more coming off of an exceptionally successful 2021 season than a strong start to the current one, but finding themselves equally incapable of replicating said success.

This was to be expected to an extent, sure. But I don’t think anyone fully expected them to turn into a bunch of bulls in the china shop in the field. The Giants are, collectively, playing defense like they’re all Sideshow Bob and the field is full of rakes. They’re playing defense like the ball is made of lava. If I had to compare the Giants’ defense to a cheese, it would be Swiss because it is full of holes and I personally do not care for it.

Sam Fels of Deadspin had this to say in a recent article on the topic:

Over the full season, the Giants are tied for the worst defense in the league in Outs Above Average, with a -31 according to StatCast. In Runs Prevented, they are dead-ass last by themselves. FanGraphs has them also the wooden spooner in Defensive Runs Saves, four runs adrift of the 29th placed team.

The Giants have been equally wretched in both the infield and in the outfield, ranking 29th in Outs Above Average in the former and 27th in the latter.

So yeah, it was already bad and this last week has just compounded it. Giants baseball has been hard to watch lately and it hasn’t been showing any signs of improvement. At a certain point you’re really just going into the games looking to see which new and creative style of bad defense will cost them the game. Which feels very much like that 2016 second half.

That said, this is baseball. Those 2016 Giants and the 2021 Giants both got just as far into the playoffs. There’s nothing saying that this team can’t get its act together and turn things around. But it’s starting to feel like for as much as everything went right with the 2021 team, everything is kind of going wrong on the same gambles in 2022.

What time do the Giants play today?

The Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks wrap the series tonight at 6:40 p.m. PT.