Giants' Most Disappointing Group Recently Actually Hasn't Been Lineup

SAN FRANCISCO -- Good news, Giants fans. For all of the offensive issues your team has faced this season, they're about to get a look at an even worse lineup. 

The Marlins, who host the Giants for three games starting Tuesday, are last in the National League in OPS, 37 points worse than the Giants. They have just 36 homers, 12 fewer than a Giants lineup that gets outslugged on a nightly basis. They are a distant last in runs scored, and somehow haven't hit a triple through 50 games. 

So yes, there is a lineup out there that's having bigger issues than the the one that calls Oracle Park home, but as the sinking Giants head to the East Coast for a three-city trip that ideally will get them back on track, the real concern hasn't been the hitters. 

The Giants always knew they would have problems scoring runs. This is nothing new. What has been shocking internally has been the complete lack of consistent pitching over the past month. 

After giving up 34 runs in three games over the weekend, the staff has a 5.69 ERA in May, up nearly two runs per game from March and April. The starters have a 7.15 ERA, ranking dead last in the majors in May. 

"We've got to pitch better," manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday. "That's obvious. We've got to get a little deeper into games. It's about execution."

This is not how the Giants have been built at any point of the last decade, and it's certainly not how the 2019 version was imagined. This team wasn't built as a contender, but the pitching and defense were supposed to be at least above average. The bullpen has mostly lived up to expectations, but the starting staff has been a disaster, and the greatest disappointment through two months. 

Madison Bumgarner's repertoire has been much better over the past month, but he admits he's still looking for his usual results, and through 11 starts he carries a 4.10 ERA, easily the highest of his career. Jeff Samardzija (3.27 ERA) has been the only other starter to regularly give the team a chance, although he's averaging just five innings per start. 

The rest of the Opening Day rotation has been a disappointment. Dereck Rodriguez (4.81 ERA, 3.95 WHIP) was sent to the minors and only just returned to provide a fresh arm since short starts were churning through the bullpen. Derek Holland (6.80), last year's reclamation project, was pulled from the rotation. Drew Pomeranz seemed like a savvy addition on a $1.5 million deal, but he hasn't lived up to it, with a 6.45 ERA. He has lasted five innings just three times in nine starts.

Add all that up, and, per Baseball-Reference's version of Wins Above Replacement, the Opening Day rotation has been worth negative 2.3 WAR through two months. 

The Giants are eager to take a look at young starters, and Shaun Anderson (4.80 ERA) is intriguing, even after a forgettable third start. But Andrew Suarez and Tyler Beede have struggled and both are currently in Triple-A. 

This team was not built to lean on those three, but the veterans have left Farhan Zaidi and Bochy with no options, and growing concerns about the state of a bullpen that has been the strength of the team. The relievers are soaking up about four innings per game, and Zaidi has talked recently of workload concerns. 

[RELATED: Phillies, Yankees scouted Bumgarner recently]

When Samardzija takes the mound Tuesday, the staff will be six weeks removed from its last seven-inning start. The 36 consecutive games without a starter logging seven innings mark the franchise's most in the last 100 years, per Stats, LLC. 

It is not just the Giants lineup, then, that is having historic issues. The starting staff has not come anywhere close to living up to expectations, so the timing couldn't be better for a three-game series with the Marlins. 

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us