Wednesday, October 03, 2012

And Now It's Time For hateHateHATE

With the Dodgers' season over, it's time to focus our hate at the Giants. So here's the opening salvo: says they have no chance of winning it all (link insider only):

The San Francisco Giants will finish the regular season ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN Power Rankings for the eighth straight week, and in 16 of the final 17. The Giants finished with three straight fifth-place rankings, the highest they have been ranked this season. And still, the Giants have no chance of winning the World Series.

The Giants have played well this season, and they have been red hot in September, but they are a thin team that has feasted on inferior competition. Buster Posey is one of the best players in baseball, and Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are top-30 pitchers. But outside of that, the quality dips quickly. [...]

Reaching the World Series seems a bit far-fetched at this point, however. Pitching becomes paramount in the postseason, and at this point the Giants rotation essentially amounts to "Bumgarner, Cain and pray for rain." Both starters have pitched consistently well throughout the season, but after that, things get shaky. On Sunday, Tim Lincecum became just the 11th pitcher in Petco Park history to allow three or more home runs in a single outing, and after the game he had to confirm that he would actually be part of the postseason starting rotation. That this was even a question shows how far the two-time Cy Young Award winner has fallen. His 4.19 FIP is more than a half-run worse than his rookie season and is by far the worst mark of his career. The picture isn't much rosier for Ryan Vogelsong. While the right-hander has better numbers for the season, he has been cuffed around lately. After compiling a 2.36 first-half ERA, he has struggled to a 5.11 ERA since the All-Star break.

In most seasons, this might not be as big of an issue, as the Giants generally have a rock-solid bullpen. That has not been the case this season. Looking at shutdowns and meltdowns, which is a more evolved measuring stick than saves and blown saves, the Giants have one of the worst bullpens in the game, a sharp contrast to the past two seasons. Their SD/MD ratio is 22nd overall and ranks 12th among the 14 teams who have either clinched postseason berths or are still in the running (see table). Looking at context neutral wins, or WPA/LI, which is also a great way to look at reliever performance, we can see the Giants have slid here as well. In 2010 and 2011, they produced top-10 units, but this season they have slipped all the way to 28th in baseball -- only the Cubs and Astros have been worse.

It's not hard to see why. The team's best reliever, Sergio Romo, has to be treated with kid gloves. The fragile righty has averaged well under an inning per appearance in his career, and has never thrown more than 62 innings in the regular season. This season, he has logged appearances on three straight days only twice -- once in mid-May, and then again right after the All-Star break, when he had a few extra days of rest. Romo is terrific when he pitches, but on days that he is unavailable, the Giants bullpen is woefully thin. Jeremy Affeldt has 16 shutdowns against 15 meltdowns this season, and he may be the next-best option. Rookie George Kontos is the only other pitcher in the zip code, and he has more meltdowns than shutdowns for the season himself.

The Giants are the weakest of the three divisional leaders. From a 2012 record perspective, as well.


QuadSevens said...


Fuck the gnats!

Franklin Stubbs said...

The Giants can bite my shiny metal ass.

Pistol Pete Reiser said...

I advocate we refer to them as the Giants* from now on, the asterisk to represent their eternal shame as steroid-freak, cheating, slimey, bearded, trailer-trash.

Pistol Pete Reiser said...

And I don't like them, either.