By Morris Phillips
Anyway you slice it, the Giants’ offense is chopped liver.
No main course, just a side dish relegated to a lesser than status. That simply is who they are.
The Giants rank 29th in home runs (10 in 17 games), 29th in batting average (.199), and 27th in runs scored (47) which averages out to 2.76 a game.
There are only 30 major league clubs. Only one of those 30 has yet to score a run in the first inning: the Giants. Need I say more?
Steven Duggar supposed to set the table. The leadoff hitter is batting .224 with an OBP of .250. On Sunday, Duggar went 0 for 4 and struck out twice.
“It’s something we’ll talk about, how can we get more aggressive and put some pressure on early in games,” said Evan Longoria, when asked about the team’s lack of early offense.
Ok, what about the run producers? Buster Posey’s hitting .220. Not much power from the fading catcher. Posey hit five home runs in 2018, and has yet to homer in 2019. If he hits fewer than five this season, it will mark the sixth, consecutive year his home run total has dipped. If he hits more than five, will he hit 10, 15? Either way his home run total goes, he’s the least likeliest guy a team would pick to hit cleanup with his .298 slugging percentage.
Brandon Belt is hitting .218 and hasn’t driven in a run in any of his last eight starts. Longoria has one home run and a .197 batting average.
Unlike last season when the Giants had more proven offensive threats, there’s really nowhere else for Posey, Belt, Duggar and Longoria to hit but at the top of the lineup. But that quartet has already struck out 64 times.
The Giants rank third in the National League with a 2.75 staff ERA. They can pitch, and the defense is clearly improved. But with these offensive numbers, the margin for error is razor thin. Pitch and play defense? Yeah, maybe for a team with more resources in the lineup, not this club.
The Giants open an eight-game trip on Tuesday in Washington. Dereck Rodriguez gies for the Giants, Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals in a 4:05 pm start.