There’s a lot of doom and gloom around the San Francisco Giants right now and for good reason: they’re not good. Oh sure, they’re not totally awful, they’re just mostly not good. Even the pitching, which for half the season had been the team’s greatest strength and had put them firmly in Wild Card 2 or 3 contention, has faded down the stretch. When it comes right down to it, they’re not much better than the Colorado Rockies.
Controversial? Stupid? Unfair? I don’t think so! Sure, if you want to look at season totals, the Giants do lead the Rockies in things like wRC+ (93 to 76), FIP (3.98 to 5.23), and team wins (70 to 51); but, all season long we’ve used “arbitrary endpoints” to make our case. Heck, “the Giants turned their season around once the calendar flipped to May” is statistically true and competitively relevant, but it feels like we’re drifting into toxic positivity when we continue to do things like that at this point in the season.
The Giants have had just two winning months this season. They had two winning months last season. 2021 was a fluke and doesn’t count (and, hey, for those of you quick to toss out the Dodgers’ 60-game season World Championship, you should be open to doing the same thing with a fluke outlier season that drafted off a shortened prior year). They had two winning months in 2019. They had two winning months in 2018. They had two winning months in 2016. Indeed, you’d have to go all the way back to 2015 to find the last time the Giants won more games than they lost in a month at least three times; but overall, you’d say the Giants have been better than the Rockies, even if the Giants haven’t been all that good for a while now. Basically, we can look at whatever measures we want to make our points. We can agree on that, right?
Well, since June 19th, the Giants have scored the fewest runs in Major League Baseball (240). The Rockies have scored 287. You get into the fancy stats, and the Giants have the second-lowest wRC+ over that same stretch, just a bit better than the Rockies (77 to 74). That’s 12 weeks at the bottom of the barrel. There are 27 weeks in the MLB regular season. Since August 1st, the Giants are 12-21, the Rockies are 9-24 and that’s with both pitching staffs performing in the bottom third of the sport.
Now, it’s not by design that the Giants have become the Rockies, but it’s important to remember that when they autopsy this season, they’ll discover that the team de-evolved into the Rockies at some point. Figuring that part out might be as important as figuring out how to get great everyday players onto the roster.
The Rockies are still being led by veteran Charlie Blackmon (111 OPS+), Ryan McMahon (99), and CJ Cron (98), but their literal WAR leader is rookie Nolan Jones. The 25-year old has hit .282/.363/.514 with 14 home runs this year. I’m still not sure what the Rockies are all about and they’re a truly bizarre sports franchise, run by an owner’s pique channeled through I think one of his sons? They’re very weird and extremely bad and yet the Giants have far more in common with them these days than the best teams in the National League (just to belabor that point: Colorado has five prospects in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, the Giants have three). Make no mistake: two bad teams will be playing each other this weekend.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Friday (7:15pm PT), Saturday (6:05pm PT), Sunday (5:10pm PT)
National broadcasts: Sunday — ESPN (lol how did this happen???)
Friday: Kyle Harrison vs. Ty Blach
Saturday: TBA vs. Chase Anderson
Sunday: TBA vs. Peter Lambert
Where they stand
Record: 51-88, 5th in NL West
Run differential: -210, 15th in NL
Postseason standing: 22.0 games back in division, 7.5 games out of Wild Card
Momentum: 1-game losing streak; 3-7 in last 10 games
Record: 70-70, 3rd in NL West
Run differential: -19, 8th in NL
Postseason standing: 15.5 games back in division, 2.5 games out of 3rd Wild Card
Momentum: 6-game losing streak; 3-7 in last 10 games
Rockies to watch
Get the hell out of here. Are you nuts?
Giants to watch
Kyle Harrison: The Padres really pulled out all the stops against the kid. Let’s see if the home run prevention measures at Oracle Park keep him in the game longer against a lineup that’s as bad as the Giants’.
Ryan Walker: Reading that report that he and his family received death threats made me upset. He’s been the best pitcher in the bullpen for at least the past month, for one thing. And, for another thing — perhaps the most important thing — fans, it’s important to remember that the more we invest our lives in the outcomes of sporting events, the more worthless our lives become. That’s why the appropriate response to most fans is “get a life.”
Brandon Crawford: Bad and old and on his way out the door, but I’m still going to watch him with interest because, why not? It’s habit by now.
Giants vs. Rockies - how will it go?
This poll is closed
Giants win series
Giants do not win series