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Win as a team, lose as a team.

July 4, 2011

When you see a team scuffling and scrapping for wins, it’s easy to try and place blame.  When you’ve got one of the best pitching staffs in the league and a run differential that has wavered between barely positive and negative, it’s especially easy to lay the blame squarely at the doorstep of the offense.  It gets comfortable to blame the offense.  It gets easy to blame everyone and everything other than that pitching staff that is plagued by poor run support.

And then, well, then you have some bullpen meltdowns.  You have two blown saves in a row.  You have games that should have been won several times over slip through your fingers like so much thin air.  And now it’s the bullpen’s fault, right?  I mean the offense managed to score some runs and still struggles!

So whose fault is it?  What the past handful of games illustrates remarkably clearly is that the way the Giants are playing there is almost no margin for error, with the exception of that fifteen run extravaganza in Detroit.  When three of your starting pitchers give you twenty-one innings in which they allow a combined two runs and none of those come out with a win to their credit, that exposes every possible flaw in the team.  Has the bullpen been at its best?  No, and I don’t think anyone would try to argue otherwise.  But the offense gave them no room to maneuver.  When giving up just one run is going to cost you the game, that’s a tall order for the bullpen to continually deliver.  We’re astoundingly lucky and, frankly, spoiled, to have the quality of relief pitching we do but they are in fact human.  They’re going to have bad days, and so is the offense, but as long as they don’t happen at the same time, the team can pick each other up.  As long as the offense is anemic, though, every pitch can mean the game.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. NotABandwagoner permalink
    July 5, 2011 12:01 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with this bit. It seems like the offense can score 15 runs one game and 3 the next and because of the frustration of the second game, people lament on how terrible the offense is.
    Today when they were down by one run, the game looked like a possible victory. The offense has been able to pull it off many times this year at home in the late innings, and proved that they could score a run against the untouchable Heath Bell. However, today the bullpen showed a little streak of mediocrity, something we rarely see, and had they kept it a one run game, who knows? Motivation and momentum can work wonders for everyone, including an offense. I’m sick of bloggers and writers who jump back and forth between “hey this offense isn’t too bad” and “this is the worst offense the world has ever known” depending on wins and losses. Thanks for shedding some light on the key point: the Giants live and die as a team.

    • July 5, 2011 12:07 am

      I was at the game today and let me tell you, I thought we had it after Pablo’s home run. It was a close game again suddenly and things were starting to fall into place. Even in the ninth my undying optimism made me think we might manage it once we had guys on base. I guess the point I’m making is that baseball really is a game of inches and that goes for everybody on the roster.

      As usual, thank you for reading and commenting. The support is always much obliged.

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