The Giants got shut out again Thursday night in Atlanta, yet again wasting another brilliant performance by their ace, Tim Lincecum. Bruce Bochy handed the ball to the two-time Cy Young award winner with hopes that he would go out, give them a quality start, and give his team a chance to split a four game series with the Braves, and improve to 4-3 on their current road trip.
Lincecum did even better.
He went out and battled through seven innings, giving up one mistake, a solo home run to Chipper Jones. Scattering five hits while striking out seven, Lincecum actually lowered his era from 2.58 to 2.53, giving him the third best era in the NL behind Johnny Cueto of Cincinnati and his teammate Ryan Vogelsong.
Bochy got exactly the performance he needed out of Lincecum. Unfortunately, the offense decided to take the game off again and the Giants lost 1-0.
Lincecum, the consummate teammate, took the loss in stride and blamed himself after the game. Bochy, who told reporters after the game the Giants are missing their mojo and they need to get it back, needs to follow Lincecum’s lead and put some of that blame on himself.
It is very clear to everyone who follows the Giants how many key injuries they have had to sustain this year. Many teams would’ve already fallen completely out of the race if they had lost two hitters in the middle of their line-up, but the Giants' pitching has kept them close, which has been an amazing feat considering how bad the offense has been.
The Giants have the third worst team batting average in the entire major leagues, and they have scored the least amount of runs in the National League, by 20 runs! Only the last place Seattle Mariners have scored less in both leagues, and they are 16 games under .500.
The horrific lack of run production could be attributed to the aforementioned injuries and a couple of key players that are really struggling this year, both of which are very plausible.
But here are three reasons why the coaching staff has to step up and take their share of the blame.