I saw this day coming from a far distance. As soon as Nelson Cruz whiffed on Brian Wilson’s fastball to end the World Series, I sensed the Baltimore Orioles and their fans might suffer a setback.
As I said a couple weeks ago, the San Francisco Giants are the ultimate exception to the rule, especially as it regards the construction of a World Championship-caliber organization. To be blunt, they’re a team built on a foundation of strong pitching and a subpar offensive attack.
For better or worse, that’s the Giants.
Stastically, the Giants had Major League Baseball’s best pitching product, in 2010. Touting a 3.36 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, San Francisco’s pitching absolutely served as the catalyst of a late-season run at contention.
Their core starting staff, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Baumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez are among the game’s very brightest. And, all four of them are “homegrown”, which really serves as a testament to the organization’s scouting and development wing.
But, does anybody really expect a team with such inconsistent and undependable hitting to be a perennial contender? Do opponents shudder at the prospect of facing pasted-together lineups?
That’s the best way to describe the Giants offensive attack …..
Their lineup posted a collective .257 batting average, coupled with a .720 OPS and 1411 hits to wrap up the regular season. Less than impressive? Well, the Orioles surpassed the Giants in BATTING AVERAGE and HITS. What does that tell you?
I’m not suggesting the Orioles had a better lineup, in 2010. But would you trade Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts for Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Cody Ross and Andres Torres? I don’t think anyone in the right mind would make that deal.
The Giants finished the World Series with only three players from their opening day lineup making significant contributions; Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe.
Not exactly Murderer’s Row, huh?