Good morning, baseball fans.
Yesterday, there was an article from Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated that posited that the San Francisco Giants are the most boring postseason contenders in all of baseball this year. To which I had the kneejerk reaction of a person who has said the exact same thing, but knows that it’s only okay when we say it, dang it.
Sure, the Giants have been unwatchably bad at times this season. And sure, most of Verducci’s points are accurate. I don’t particularly care for the current brand of Giants baseball. But dang it, now I want them to succeed with it more than ever. Out of pure spite.
In all seriousness, Verducci mostly makes good points. The current brand of Giants baseball is boring. Almost by design. There are no superstars. The offense is lackluster. There is little consistency in roster, rotation and lineup construction in any given week.
Ultimately, I think almost all of what Verducci touches on would probably be forgiven by fans if it were succeeding more. And I don’t mean hanging on by the skin of their teeth to hopes of the last wild card spot while toeing the .500 line.
And when Verducci talks about the lowered attendance at the ballpark, he references things that he believes matter more to “casual fans” such as pitcher wins and the way in which pitchers are used. Which may be true! Everyone can value different things in what makes something enjoyable to them.
However, I would be more inclined to point to things like their struggle to hit with runners in scoring position. They’re 13th in batting average and 18th in RBI with runners in scoring position. If you spend any time on Giants social media circles, you know that there’s nothing the people fear more than bases loaded with no outs.
Saturday’s double-header is a good example. They were 2-for-11 and 2-for-8 in those games, against the worst team in the National League. Situations that should be exciting, like the would-be winning run coming to the plate in the ninth inning with bases loaded, are just...not. Because it already feels inevitable.
Can the Giants manage to make things exciting in this last couple of weeks of the regular season and potentially beyond? Yeah, of course. We’ve seen them play very well this season for significant stretches. They swept four series in June, including one against the Dodgers, who they will face twice more in these last two weeks.
But I can’t blame anyone who thinks that’s incredibly unlikely. And I can’t say I disagree with Verducci’s perspective on the near future of the team not getting any more interesting. He rightfully points out the fact that the success of the 2021 team is now overshadowed by the almost aggressive mediocrity of the other seasons under Farhan Zaidi’s tenure.
And while they are by no means the worst team in baseball, it’s hard to look at any of the other teams ostensibly vying for a postseason appearance and find any that are less compelling. The Giants are boring. And that’s not just a problem for this year, but a problem that isn’t going away any time soon under the status quo of the current leadership.
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants wrap up this short series against the Arizona Diamondbacks today at 12:40 p.m. PT.