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The Giants have had the worst offense in the NL over the last two weeks

In addition to not looking good, the lineup has been real ugly.

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Let’s start with the good news: the San Francisco Giants have Patrick Bailey. He’s not just a great backstop, his talent now getting some mea culpas from the Front Office Times (which civilians know as FanGraphs), he’s been a staple of the lineup since his first start on May 20 (.302/.336/.512; 128 wRC+), and basically the entire offense over the past two weeks.

Yes, maybe you’ve heard or maybe you’ve had the bad fortune to see that the Giants have not been good the past couple of weeks. Since June 20 (15 games), the Giants lineup is hitting .218/.291/.326, which translates to an NL-worst 71 wRC+. Your wRC+ refresher:

wRC+ takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

For example, a player who plays his home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field will have a lower wRC+ than a player who posts identical stats at pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum.

Speaking of the A’s, their team wRC+ over the past couple of weeks is 77, just ahead of the Giants for 28th in MLB. The Royals trail both with a 70 wRC+. The Giants have hit, basically, 30% worse than the league average. On the season, they’re at 101 wRC+ which means you could make the circular argument that the Giants are hitting 30% worse than themselves.

Bailey’s 126 wRC+ over this two-week stretch basically leads the Giants. Technically, Wilmer Flores has him beat with a 150 wRC+, but that’s based on 20 plate appearances (6 games). Bailey has played in 14 of 15 and is fourth in PA (50), behind Joc Pederson (52; 77 wRC+), Luis Matos (52; 85 wRC+), and J.D. Davis (60; 71 wRC+). Jay Jaffe wrote him up this morning:

Contact-wise, Bailey’s got enough total batted ball events that he’s past the point where the numbers start to stabilize.


Getting back to the walk and strikeout stuff: Bailey’s rates are out of balance, but it’s not as though his 44.7% swing rate, 29.1% chase rate, or 9.9% swinging-strike rate stand out as egregious or as marks that can’t be attached to reasonable production.

Then he deployed a chart which compared Bailey’s plate discipline with the likes of Corbin Carroll and Michael Conforto. He’s been an incredibly productive hitter and a lights out defender, with elite pop time and pitch framing. If the +10.3 Defensive Runs of value generated for FanGraphs is to be believed, than he’s been worth one win (above a replacement player) just with his glove. 3.7 of those runs have come during this two week swoon the Giants have experienced.

As a team, the Giants have been the third-best defense in Baseball (2nd in NL) since June 20, which I mention in order to highlight how bad the offense has been. Their team WAR of just +0.2 is tied with the Royals. The A’s (0.0), Red Sox (0.0), and Rockies (-0.1) are the only teams behind them. It has been dire.

Right now, Patrick Bailey wants to be compared to anyone but Michael Conforto, whose 60 wRC+ over the last two weeks (37 PA) is ahead of just Brandon Crawford (35 wRC+), Thairo Estrada (32), Bryce Johnson (4), and Casey Schmitt (-38). Did I mention it’s been dire?

The team’s 9 home runs are tied with the Royals for lowest in the majors. Their 26.3% strikeout rate has led the National League, and if you want to look at some of the culprits on both points, I offer Patrick Bailey himself (26%), along with J.D. Davis (33.3%), Thairo Estrada and Blake Sabol (both with 31% K rates). Sabol actually leads the team with 3 home runs over their last 15 games and Bailey has 2, but you see the Giants’ .108 isolated slugging — the worst in the National League — and that’s how you know that there’s not a lot of good happening with the bats right now.

Their team walk rate of 8.4% kinda-sorta pairs with that strikeout rate to put them into a TTO style team, but in this case it’s Two True Outcomes. The Giants are not homering, and when they’re not doing that, they’re either not hitting the ball hard, striking out, or maybe drawing a walk. This isn’t a situation where they’ve had to overcome deficit after deficit, either. Even our beloved LaMonte Wade Jr. pairs a 15% walk rate with a .061 ISO. To put it another way: he’s hitting .273/.375/.333 on a .360 BAbip.

The Giants’ staff ERA of 4.40 ERA over the last 15 games is middle of the pack, and a closer inspection of things like their Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) shows that they’ve been doing very well (3.89 - 8th in MLB) despite a heap of injuries to the rotation.

The injuries would explain quite a lot of the lineup’s undoing. Thairo Estrada was hitting very poorly before a pitch broke his hand and Conforto’s rolling lingering injury issue ate into his performance and playing time. Yaz missed time, too. Then you get to the rookies: Bailey (great), Matos (below average), Schmitt (awful) and you realize that they’re always going to be a work in progress, which leaves us with this group of actual problems:

Austin Slater (78 wRC+) — is it injury? Facing right-handers?
Joc Pederson (77 wRC+) — does he need to have another chat with Barry Bonds? He might not hit 20 home runs this season! Is he hurt? One home run on a 15.4% walk rate, but a .116 ISO — Austin Slater has him beat with 21.4% and a .136 ISO. That’s not a lot of power from either guy, mind you! Slater’s slugging .273, Joc is slugging .302!
J.D. Davis (71 wRC+) — Already mentioned his K rate, but he has just a 5% walk rate and is slugging .316. A lot of hard hit singles for the guy.
Brandon Crawford (35 wRC+) — He came off the IL on May 14, and from that date until June 18 (23 games), we got perhaps our final glimpse of the Brandon Crawford we’ll always remember: .290/.372/.391 with great defense. The Giants went 16-7. His double in last night’s shutout was just the second extra base hit he’s had since that span, and over his last 14 games, he’s hitting .175/.261/.225.

The Giants have already called up their prospect depth to augment or replace guys who were supposed to be in this core group, and now this core group is faltering. It’s basically Bailey, Wade, and a Sabol blast propping up the lineup right now. This post isn’t meant to act as concern trolling. Injuries and streaks inform every baseball season. Barring some underlying health, you’d expect Pederson, Davis, and Conforto to get it going, and Yastrzemski will probably start to get it going once his timing’s back. There’s still LaMonte Wade Jr. taking pitches and getting on base. Patrick Bailey, too.

We’re talking about a 15-game sample where the team went 7-8. Not good, not terrible. The Giants had a terrible April and then turned it all around once May began. That’s important to remember! Since May 1st, the Giants have had the 5th-best pitching staff in baseball and 9th-best offense. In the last two weeks, they’ve faced the (again, since May 1st) #3 (Padres), #6 (Mariners), and #7 (Diamondbacks) overall (by fWAR) pitching staffs, and if you refine it to June 1st or later, another opponent — the Blue Jays — hops right in.

This is a long post to say that a two-week sample of dreadful performance doesn’t have to be permanently bad news. The season might not be over for all the doomsayers out there. The Giants have looked particularly bad since they went on an east coast road trip that ended with a prime time game, and if Camilo Doval hadn’t soiled himself on Monday night, then maybe the vibes wouldn’t be quite so shaky on this off day.

No, we shouldn’t expect Patrick Bailey to stay hot the rest of the way, but we should expect a lot of these players to bounce back to filling up box scores. The trade market looks like it will be tricky when it’s not costly, and that might even include “depth” moves, so, the Giants’ best hope probably lies in the current guys and their RBIs.