Home Runs

Part one of our post-2018 autopsy of the Giants will involve an overly simplistic view of the offense. We all know the lineup lacked punch, but when you compare it to the playoff teams, using two simple measures, things look even more bleak.

Consider: Team Leaders in Home Runs, and
Number of Players Equaling Giants’ Team Leader in Home Runs.
Here we go:

Giants Team Leader in HRs: Evan Longoria, 16

  • Red Sox: JD Martinez, 43; # of players with 16+ HRS=5
  • Indians: Jose Ramirez, 39; # of players w/ 16+=7
  • Astros: Alex Bregman, 31; # w/ 16+=5
  • Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton, 38: # w/ 16+=(Yanks had 6 different guys hit at least 24+!!!)
  • A’s: Khris Davis, 48; # w/ 16+=5
  • Braves: Ronald Acuna, 26; # w/ 16+=4
  • Cubs: Javy Baez, 34; # w/ 16+=3
  • Rockies: Nolan Arenado, 38; # w/ 16+=6
  • Dodgers: Max Muncy 35; # w/ 16+=8 (This actually jumps to an astonishing 10, if you consider that Manny Machado and Brian Dozier both hit more than 16 when you take into account their pre-trade numbers)
  • Brewers: Christian Yelich, 36; # w/ 16+=5

Again, this is a very simplistic model, and we all know the Giants need to hit more home runs, but this is a startling view of reality. Not only do the Giants not have anywhere near the top end power that most good teams have (remember no Giant has hit 30+ home runs since Barry Bonds), but they also lack the depth (the Cubs, the closest team to the Giants in this measure, had a guy named Kris Bryant only hit 15 home runs in a season shortened by injury…he’s capable of 40+ any normal year).

Part of what is worrisome about the Giants entering 2019 is not that they lack top-end power and can go get it in the form of Bryce Harper, nice though that may be, they simply don’t have the depth of power to compare to other good teams. In other words, they could use a power upgrade at nearly every position on the field, and that’s probably not going to change dramatically any time soon.

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Playoff Thoughts II

The year (post-season) of the home run? Perhaps, so argues Joe Lemire. I was thinking about this as I watched the Rangers-Tigers game last night. Early on, while Derek Holland and Max Scherzer were both struggling, I was trying to remember a post-season so dramatically defined by offense. I (and others) have pointed out how important pitching is to the post-season, and I still believe that (both at a gut level and based on copious statistical evidence provided by baseball prospectus and others). But every now and then a post-season comes along and turns into a slug fest.

Like 2002. I don’t have the numbers in front of me to prove this (so if someone wants to take the time to do this, that would be awesome), but 2011 feels a lot like 2002 to me. There are always blowouts and games where the scoring gets out of hand in any year’s post-season tournament, but I can’t remember a year like this since 2002. No one, especially the World Series teams (Angels and Giants) had a fearsome big-game type of starter. The bullpens were good and there were some excellent pitching performances, but you kind of expected the final scores to be 6-5, not 3-2.

Two points to all of this: (1) I can’t remember a slug it out post-season like this since 2002. (2) It really makes sad the Giants aren’t in this. I was kind of hoping the Phillies would win it all and the inevitability of that result would make it easy to swallow the Giants lost season. However, the more I watch this post-season, the more I think a dominant staff (starters and relievers) could have done some damage in this tournament.

(-SB)