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Those who were supposed to lead the team fell flat. Most importantly, few teams could be successful if their ace wins only eight games, as Matt Cain did in 2013. His WAR of 1.3 was, by far, the lowest of his career, not counting his 46.1 inning stint in 2005.
Despite pitching in the pitcher's heaven that is AT&T Park, Cain was plagued by the home run. He allowed 23 long balls in 2013, eighth most in the National League. Keeping his pitches down is key, and a rebound performance in 2014 is likely if he makes that change.
In addition to Cain's struggles, Buster Posey fell well short of reproducing his 2012 MVP-caliber performance. His numbers fell across the board, with a decrease in home runs (24 to 15), RBI (103 to 72), average (.336 to .294) and OPS (.957 to .821), among others.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why the drop-off happened, but the main culprit is Posey’s BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). In 2012, that number was .368; it fell to .312 in 2013. You can attribute this to good luck in 2012, or bad luck in 2013. Either way, Posey must get back to his 2012 numbers if the Giants are to contend for the NL West in 2014.