The defending champion San Francisco Giants have experienced a slow but steady decline over the past few months that has seen them fall six games out of first place. What’s happened to them is nothing like what we saw with the Pirates, a team that went from playing well to playing awful almost overnight, immediately bowing out of the division race and back to their rightful position as the butt of inconsiderate jokes. The Giants fall has been a bit more subtle. They have basically been treading water in the hopes that no one in their division would get hot enough to boot them out of first place.
Since July 1, Bruce Bochy and his band of flailing wiffle bats are 27-29, and in August are an embarrassing 10-18 and losers of 10 of their last 15 games. During that streak they have been shutout three times, two of which came at the hands of the Cubs and Astros, and have scored just two runs in each of their last three wins. To put it bluntly, the Giants offense is crap.
Yes, losing Buster Posey after he was viciously attacked at home plate by escaped zoo animals was crushing, but they made a rather large move at the trade deadline in acquiring a “big bat” in Carlos Beltran. When this trade went down, I shamefully admit to writing, “love this move for the Giants and look forward to a fantastic NLCS against the Phillies.” I made that cringe-inducing assessment thinking that by going from a hopeless situation in New York to a positive vibe and winning team in San Francisco, we would see a reinvigorated player. ‘Twas not to be. In 19 games of attempting to rescue the Giants offense, Beltran is 20-for-72 with a home run, 4 RBI and a plethora of empty, cliched responses to reporters. It’s not just him though, it’s everyone. The Giants are last in the league in runs scored and their locker room atmosphere sounds more depressing than a lengthy obituary read aloud by Ben Stein. Also not helping matters is Aubrey Huff’s puzzling transformation into The Thing.
Unfortunately, Tim Lincecum has been the one stuck answering most of the questions and has somehow remained classy and encouraging in what must be an excruciating process, especially considering that in three of his last four losses he has gone seven innings and allowed two runs or less. I have no doubt in my mind he would like to give a running lariant to guys like Ivan Nova, whose run support is a little over nine runs per game with the Yankees. Still, no one has blown a gasket yet, which is rather disappointing and maybe part of the problem. I’m guessing the man to lose his mind and finally offer some candid responses regarding the shitty play of his teammates will be Brian Wilson if and when he returns from the disabled list.
The Giants do have six more games against the streaking Diamondbacks, but if I were a fan of the defending champs I’d almost prefer they didn’t play Arizona again so as to avoid what’s sure to be an embarrassing showing and an extra foot in the ass as they rapidly fall out of playoff contention.
[Photo via Getty]