San Francisco Giants: Why the Offense Is Still Big Concern After Trade Deadline

Barry ShillerContributor IIIAugust 2, 2011

Waiting, waiting, waiting. When will Beltran start producing runs?
Waiting, waiting, waiting. When will Beltran start producing runs?Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

What do the numbers 2 - 0 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 4 - 2 signify?

Not this week's winning Lotto numbers.

Not Mets GM Sandy Alderson's phone number (in case any of you wanted to thank him for surrendering Carlos Beltran).

Those numbers are the Giants' game-by-game run production over their last 10 outings, including tonight's stinking-rotten-wasn't-this-supposed-to-be-easier 5-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Giants awoke Saturday morning in Cincinnati with a four-game cushion over Arizona; they'll awaken Tuesday morning with the lead reduced to one game.

You want to claim I'm instigating needless, unfounded hysteria by suggesting that the Giants are in a little trouble? Be my guest. Perhaps I am.

The Padres led the division by two games last August 2. By August 25, their lead had swelled to 6.5 games.

(That preceded a 10-game swoon and photo finish in the division race, which they lost.)

So, sure. Plenty of reasons to stay calm. Lots of games (53) to play. Still in first place. 

Pitching is still really solid (maybe not quite as solid after Santiago Casilla was removed from tonight's game with what was called a "tight hamstring."

Perhaps a bit shakier now that Barry Zito is going back to the disabled list with...something, leaving the Giants with a bit less rotation depth.

C'mon. The offense is going to perk up. Beltran is going to hit. It's nice seeing some productivity from Cody Ross (as a leadoff hitter) and Aubrey Huff (hey, he's alive).

But I have to ask:

Which Jonathan Sanchez will we see this Friday against the Phillies?

When is the offense—bolstered by three acquisitions, and unlikely to be tweaked much more until September roster call-ups—going to take some pressure off the pitchers?

Will the pitching staff continue bearing up under the weight of consistently meager run support?

Was Brian Sabean's work at the trade deadline enough to position his club for the stretch drive?

2 - 0 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 4 - 2.

Three runs or fewer 64 times in 109 games, six of the last seven, eight of the last 10.

This is gonna be interesting.