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Giants' midseason moves haven't paid off

Sep 17, 2009, 2:23 PM EDT

Part of the reason why the Giants find themselves 3.5 games behind the Rockies in the Wild Card race despite baseball’s best pitching staff is that the midseason trades they made in an effort to upgrade a punchless lineup haven’t worked out at all.
Prior to getting second baseman Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates and first baseman Ryan Garko from the Indians, the Giants averaged 4.0 runs per game. Since then San Francisco has scored 4.1 runs per game.
Basically zero change, which is what happens when Sanchez hits .278/.290/.322 while being sidelined half the time with a shoulder injury and Garko earns a seat on the bench by hitting .232/.291/.347.
Last month I wrote about how dangerous the Giants could be in the playoffs because of their Tim Lincecum-led pitching staff, but that premise assumed that Sanchez and Garko would at least give the lineup a couple decent bats to compliment Pablo Sandoval. Instead they’ve just joined the crowded club of Giants hitters providing below-average production.
In fact, among the 16 hitters who’ve had at least 100 plate appearances for the Giants this season only Sandoval, Juan Uribe, and little-used reserve outfielder Andres Torres have an adjusted OPS+ above average. And (with apologies to Rockies fans) it’s a shame, because I’d love to see the league’s best pitcher, the league’s top-hitting Panda, and maybe even the best left-handed pitcher of the past 50 years in the playoffs.

  1. rollingrox - Sep 17, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    This is a disappointing post for several reasons: first, Wainwright and Carpenter have been every bit as good as Lincecum this year. Is he great? Yes, but he is not definitively the best pitcher in the league; second, Pablo Sandoval is an entertaining player, but he’s nowhere near as complete a player as Troy Tulowitzki. If he played for Boston, NY or the Cubs, there is no way he would be ignored the way he has been. In fact, if the Rockies were based on the east coast or in California, they’d be considered a leading contender for the World Series. Please, Mr. Gleeman, try to put your bias aside and notice how compelling this Rockies team has been since Jim Tracy took over.

  2. Luis Rivera - Sep 17, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    Apologies accepted :)
    Still, even with Lincecum, the Giants would need a miracle to get beyond the first round of the playoffs. Other than the big panda, they have Morales, Renteria and Uribe in the middle of the order, how could you expect any better with that?

  3. Jon M. - Sep 17, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Rollingrox – The facts don’t back you up on Lincecum. He leads Carpenter and Wainwright in ERA; strikeouts; innings; opponents’ average, OBP and OPS; complete games; shutouts; strikeout/walk ratio; and strikeouts per nine innings. Carpenter has a slightly (.04) lower WHIP, but other than that the only major category where they have Lincecum beat is wins, which is a stat the pitcher himself has some of the least control over. As good as Wainwright and Carpenter have been, nobody in the league has been as dominant as Lincecum has been.

  4. Gregory Despainda - Feb 18, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Hey! Awesome site! I will definatley be coming back in the near future =)

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