The State of the Union for the San Francisco Giants is slightly north of bleak.
With 10 games left in the pennant race, it looks like two, possibly three teams stand in the way of the Giants and their first playoff appearance since 2003.
What is probably closer to the truth, the Giants are also standing in their own way.
At various points throughout the 2010 season, we have already seen the "here today, gone tomorrow" offense, no matter who seemed to be in the lineup.
Now it seems like someone has hung a sign around the lineup card saying, "Be back in April, maybe."
Over the past seven days, the Giants are third to last in runs scored in the National League with 21. If you eliminate Jose Guillen's six RBI contribution, San Francisco would be dead last, and possibly dead in the race.
We have seen the Giants slump together occasionally. It happens to every team, and granted, it probably happens to the Giants even more. San Francisco is ranked 10th in the NL with 649 runs scored. With runners on base, they are 12th.
What is happening now, is a good deal more alarming than a slump. The Giants are collectively shutting down on offense.
Is it a lack of effort? It doesn't appear to be. When the Giants faced Carlos Zambrano on 9/21 they were shut out against him. But at least in this game, they worked counts, took pitches and made Zambrano toss 116 pitches by the sixth inning.
Whatever the cause may be, the Giants are in danger of slipping out the race if they continue to fail at the plate.
Up and down the lineup, everyone is guilty. Freddie Sanchez had two hits last night against Randy Wells, but he is still guilty by association at this point. "You broke my heart Freddo!"
You really have to salute the mental fortitude of the pitching staff. They have done an incredible job of keeping their composure in this drought.
Over the past seven games that the Giants offense has "gone fishing" the pitching has been incredible.
San Francisco's staff has put up a 1.36 ERA in the last seven days. That is a ridiculous ERA when you consider they have played six games in that time. Even more ludicrous - the Giants have a 3-3 record.
With 10 games left to play, the Giants pitchers just cannot be expected to do more than they have already. Runs have to be scored. Which means the bat has to find the ball, and something good has to happen.
The unbalanced play in San Francisco at this point in the season is a little foreboding, even if they do reach the playoffs. It's a little hard to win with zero points scored - but the Giants keep trying.
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