Tha Sports Junkies 101

Giants Season Slipping Away?

Joe Parks/via


At the All-Star break, the San Francisco Giants had a comfortable five-and-a-half game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, they sit at second place behind the Dodgers, four games behind.

So what happened? Even year, their year, right?

Well…believe it or not, the year has nothing to do with whether or not a team does good. This is no exception for the G-men of the bay.

In the last 10 games, the Giants have won five, but lost their last two. And have been outscored 41 runs to 40.

Although that statistic may not seem like a big deal, but as team in contention, giving up one more run than you scored will really put a team into a slump.

The Giants took advantage of the Trade Deadline being extended from July 31 to Aug. 1 by trading clubhouse beloved shortstop Matt Duffy to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for some rotation help from Matt Moore, plus prospects.

To say the Duffy trade was emotionally devastating for that Giant clubhouse would be an understatement.

Going 16-23 since that trade Aug. 1, it is obvious the Giants have been drained.

Or maybe the rigorous and physically draining 162 game schedule finally caught up with them.

Whatever it is, it must be fixed now if they wish to contend.

The offense, though being slightly below average since the trade, is not the problem. It’s the pitching.

If you do not have a strong rotation and bullpen, especially the back-end bullpen, you will not go very far in this league today.

Maybe 20, 30 years ago you get away with a shaky pitching staff if you have a strong and powerful offense. But not today; not anymore.

In order to edge the creeping Mets and Cardinals in the NL Wild Card race, the pitching must do better than giving up 41 runs in 10 games, a 4.10 team ERA.

Obviously, team ace Madison Bumgarner is not the problem. He, while the rest of his fellow starters not named Johnny Cueto struggle, is on pace to break the Giants franchise record of quickest to 100 wins (he goes for that record tonight vs. San Diego).

Mad-Bum and Cueto’s ERAs are 2.61 and 2.90. Obviously, those two are not the problem.

So what is?

Matt Moore, Jeff Samardzija and Albert Suarez finish out the five and record a combined 4.11 ERA. Though combined from three pitchers, this ERA is not horrible. But it is not what you want as you find yourself just inches away from October.

Star closer Santiago Casilla has two blown saves in his last four appearances. As a team, the Giants have a total of 18 blown saves this year. Not what you expect from an October-caliber team.

Bruce Bochy must put life back into the 25 men eligible in order to play in the NL Wild Card game and give Giant fans some confidence to get into the faces of Dodger fans and scream “Even Year, Our Year.”