After 23 innings of playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates who would have guessed that a team with the third best record in the National League would have scored one total run. No offense to the Pirates' pitching staff, who have a very respectable ERA of 4.20 (although before the Giants faced them their ERA was 4.31), but that is pathetic. Motivated by rage and grief I decided to try and find out why.
The first thing I did was head over to mlb.com and check out their sortable team stats to find out what was the biggest problem for the Giants. The results weren't pretty, and statistically the Giants' offense is God awful.
However, they are only dead last in the major leagues in three categories (of the ones available at mlb.com, which are: AB, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, TB, BB, SO, SB, CS, OBP, SLG, AVG, SF, SH, HBP, IBB, GDP, TPA, NP, XBH, SB%, GO, AO, GO/AO, and OPS).
The three categories are: walks, on-base percentage, and pictches seen.
Upon further investigation I found out that the Giants swing at more pitches outside the zone than any other team (by a lot). They are also the only team in the majors to swing at more pitches than they take.
Interestingly enough, every single player who came to the Giants from other teams saw their percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone rise (when I say this I mean the average of outside-the-zone-swings from before they were Giants compared to after).
Now, it seems to me that this is a problem that deserves some fixing and I think that Brian Sabean should consider the notion that maybe, just maybe, Carney Lansford (the hitting coach) isn't the the right man for the job.