2012 Season Updated Below -Oct 13, 2012
Old Coach’s Proverb
“Four balls in play, two runs, good inning. One ball, 3 runs. good game”
A Few Names From The Past – At Least One Season with 25 HR 1958 thru 1969: Willie Mays (9x) Orlando Cepeda (6x) Willie McCovey (6x), Felipe Alou, Jim Ray Hart (3x) Tom Haller, Bobby Bonds
1970 thru 1979Willie Mays, Willie McCovey (3x), Bobby Bonds (4x), Dave Kingman, Jack Clark Mike Ivie,
1980 thru 1989Jack Clark (2x) Darrell Evans, Will Clark (2x) Kevin Mitchell (3x)
1990 thru 1999 Will Clark , Matt Williams (4x) Barry Bonds (7x) Jeff Kent (2x) JT Snow, Ellis Burks
2000 thru 2011Barry Bonds (7x) Jeff Kent (2x) Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Pablo Sandoval, Aubrey Huff.
Please Note: Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent are the only players with more than one season of 25 or more homeruns since 2000. Since 2005 only 3 players not named Bonds have hit 25 homeruns. Ray Durham hit 26 homeruns in 2006. Pablo Sandoval hit 25 homeruns in 2009 Aubrey Huff hit 26 in 2010. There have been no players to hit 30 or more homeruns since Barry Bonds hit 45 in 2004. The number of MLB players with 25 or more homeruns in a season since that time: 2005 – 45, 2006 – 54, 2007 – 46, 2008 – 50, 2009 – 55, 2010 – 42, 2011 – 42.
Season by Season Look At Giants Power vs Pitching vs Results.
For SF Giants purposes, we’re only looking at PacBell/SBC/AT&T so that we’re comparing apples to apples. How the Giants compared and contrasted to themselves from year to year. The park opened in 2000, and covers two generations of ballplayers using 5.6 years as the length of the major league career.
This is as good a time as any I guess, to point out that a lot folks believe that pitching is the primary ingredient in the recipe for success in the pursuit of championships. That there really is no such thing as great hitting defeating great pitching.
The baseball culture smog say if a guy hits a jack, its because the pitcher made a mistake. Rarely does a hitter get credit for seeding a great pitch; its always a “mistake” pitch.
Whether that goes to demonstrate that a lot of seemingly otherwise discerning fans, who are parroting almost verbatim these notions, are inhalers of the smog, is yet another one of those discussions for another time.
It seems to me, in the case of the Giants anyway, that attributing “winning” almost exclusively to the whims of the pitching gods, and “clutch hitting” and small mall is a pretty incomplete statement. Actually the seasons and post-seasons seem to be determined by the winner of the pitching vs power matchups; not the winner of the pitching vs pitching and small-ball matchups. At least in the case of the Giants over the last two generations of ballplayers when they have power they win more than they lose. In the regular season as well as the post season.
HR – Opp HR
|2000||6||5||5||1||0|| 2 – 3 NYM LDS
||Lost LDS 3-1
|2002||6||11||2||4||6.5||6-5 ATL LDS
7-7 STL LCS
|Win LDS 3-2
Win LCS 4-1
Lost WS 4-3
||0.5|| 0-1 FLA LDS
||Lost LDS 3-1
|2010||11||17||2||2||5||2-3 ATL LDS
4-3 PHI LCS
8-3 TEX WS
|Win LDS 3-1
Win LCS 4-2
Win WS 4-1
|2012||12||30||8||3||4||5-5 CIN LDS||Win LDS 3-2|
Homeruns Do Matter – A lot
The Giants have been to the post-season in 5 of the last 12 complete seasons. They have won 3 of those Division Series, won at least two Pennants, lost the 2002 World Series, and homered their way past the Texas Rangers in 2010. Thats 9 Series and 45 post-season games. They have won 6 of those series; winning 26 of the 45 games. In the six series they won, they out-homered or tied their opponents in 5 of them. In the 3 series they lost, they were out-homered in 2 of them.
Causation or Correlation
In the Giants case, its pretty clear from the table above that there is a large correlation between homeruns, runs scored and how competitive they are. When they hit homeruns, they score and win and even when they don’t win, they are a lot closer to the better teams more often than not. And when they don’t hit, not only are they far behind the leaders, they are either getting drearily hammered, squandering scoring opportunities right and left, and putting their pitching staff under undo stress, or eking out wins that while tense, are not very impressive.
Its not a scientific study so I am not going to quantify to a mathematical certainty that the number of home-runs are the primary contributing factor to winning championships. All I am stating here is that homeruns are big factors. The more homeruns hit, the more runs scored. Which of course is the object of the game; to score more than the other guy. So when their importance is minimized, or not addressed, more than likely your team is going to be looking up in the standings from a long distance. Like, too often, the Giants. In spite of their pitching.
The Fear Factor
Not only on paper are homeruns important, but they scare the crap out of pitchers who are pitching for teams that have little or no homerun hitters to answer back. If you want to pooh-pooh the idea of the importance of homeruns, ask Giants fans about Scott Spezio, or Phillies fans about Cody Ross, and Rangers fans about Edgar Renteria or the whole world about Barry Bonds, the most dominant offensive player since Babe Ruth.
I can’t even count the number of times when Bonds came up in close games and jacked one out to clinch a Giants win, or bring them from behind. And I can count on one hand the number of hit-and-runs that have accomplished the same over the years. Actually I can’t remember a single one, though I’m sure there are a few. So homeruns have the thrill factor going for it.
Which is Nice.
I know there is a school of thought that subscribes to small-ball, or as I refer to it, chicken-shit ball-as-executed-by-the-talent-challenged. Earl Weaver and Tony LaRussa, Nolan Ryan, the Yankees and Red Sox are not from that school however.
The best way to minimize stranding runners and avoid the LOBs is the jack. You have three or four guys that hit bombs and it solves everything most of the time. The Giants need only look at themselves over their 54 year history for proof of that.