Aug. 3, 2011
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In a bad blow to Giant fans everywhere, the local nine scored four runs in a single inning Wednesday. Yes. Four. Runs. You know those things where a guy runs around the bases and touches the five-sided pointy thing with his foot?
RECAP: Giants score season-high at home, salvage win
Bad blow? Yes. Even though you have a thing for your team and approve of days like Wednesdays, in which the lads took and held a lead for Ryan Vogelsong, and regained the lead in the National League Amish Division.
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Bad blow? Yes, because youre the ones who started this fetish with torture and cling to it even though it was last years meme and should have been gracefully retired with Jose Guillen.
Fact is, the Giants are overachieving at an almost galactic rate, and for you to fret that the boys arent hitting enough (which they arent) is exactly one of the reasons why they have any charm at all.They are one of eight teams in the last decade to have reached the first week of August with such a meager attack. For the record, here are the others, and the reason why you need to know this will become clear shortly.YEAR TEAM RUNS ON AUG. 3 FINAL RECORD
2003 Detroit 362 43-119
L.A. Dodgers 371 85-77
2004 Montreal 377 67-95
2010 Baltimore 379 66-96
Pittsburgh 359 57-105
Seattle 344 61-101
2011 San Francisco 391 90-62
Seattle 361 71-91
Those last two are projections, of course, but the message is a pretty clear one. To score such a miserable number of runs this late in the season, you need to plan on finishing 67-95. Or worse, since the last Giants team to hit this poorly after 111 games was the 1985 model, which stands alone as the franchises one 100-loss team.Now thats the kind of rancidity you always said you enjoyed last year -- WHEN THEY WERE SCORING 100 MORE RUNS THAN THEY HAVE NOW. That was the sort of agony you said explained your love for this team -- WHEN THEIR RUN DIFFERENTIAL WAS PLUS-94 INSTEAD OF PLUS-3.So what is it, you big bunch of candies? Are you men (as in family of man) or mice (as in small obnoxious rodents who mostly make dumpsters come alive)? Are you up for this or not?Wednesdays game was so not-Giantic that it is a wonder that the crowd followed the rules. Multiple crooked-number innings (fours in the third and fifth innings), and the first six-run game at home all year -- IN ONLY THEIR 53RD HOME DATE.In the past nine years, the Giants broke the mythical six-runs-at-the-Phone mark in their third, first, first, fourth, first, seventh, sixth, first and third games. So waiting until 53 to nail down this arbitrary achievement tells us one thing.You folks better be up for the next two months. And days like Wednesday will not toughen you up properly.Sunny day. Wind blowing stridently to left field. Vogelsong pillow-smothering an all-right-handed hitting Arizona lineup. Carlos Beltran tripling and singling twice. Orlando Cabrera, mocked as a five-hitter, doubling home two runs. It couldnt have been easier on the eyes, the heart or the nervous system.But thats not how this is going to be. This was a day off for you, a freebie after two weeks of two runs a game. Frankly, we suspect Wednesday was just one more way to suck you back in when you were ready to take a hike on this team. Especially, as it turns out, with Philadelphia coming to town for a four-game series that will be falsely sold as Armageddon.No, this is a spectacularly modest team offensively, almost epically so. They will make you bleed through the eye sockets for your entertainment, but it wont be torture. Anything but.Frankly, children, youre playing with the casinos money here. With these numbers, your team should be 56-55. With the history of non-hitting teams over the last decade, your team should be 46-65.Torture? Hell. Day to day, this may be hard on your guts, but as large sample size matter, this is cashing a Scratcher. Now rub some dirt on your brains and walk it off. Youve got 51 more to go, and most of them wont be like this.