Contemporary off a franchise-best 107-win season, no one anticipated the San Francisco Giants to repeat as NL West champs in 2022. The departures of key gamers corresponding to Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, and Kevin Gausman have been going to be troublesome to beat. The Giants managed to exchange Gausman by buying Carlos Rodón in free company and the workforce hoped former second total draft choose Joey Bart could be an acceptable alternative for Posey. The workforce by no means tried to exchange Bryant. Rodón has been nice. Bart not a lot, and that’s kind of been exemplary of the Giants’ season so far. The Giants’ pitching employees has been phenomenal, however their offense has didn’t recapture the magic of 2021, largely partly resulting from their lack of home runs.
In 2021, the Giants completed the common season second in MLB in home runs (241; Toronto: 262). In 2022 although, the Giants are at the moment twelfth with simply 25. They’re averaging virtually one home run per sport, which is nice, however nowhere close to what the Giants want with the intention to contend. The home run menace is what made the Giants offense hum final season. They struck out lots (ninth-most in MLB in 2021), however made up for it with their potential to supply round-trippers. That’s not the case in 2022.
The workforce continues to be putting out at across the similar clip (23.6 % in 2021, 23.1 % in 2022), however their home run price has dropped off the desk, from 3.9 % in 2021 (third-highest in MLB), to only 2.6 % this 12 months. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, who had a profession 12 months final season at 34 years outdated, had 24 homers however simply 2 home runs this 12 months. Brandon Belt has 4 and utility man Wilmer Flores has 2. Outfielder Darin Ruf has but to hit a home run in any respect. The one gamers whose home run charges have elevated in 2022 and have performed 20 or extra games for the workforce this 12 months are Austin Slater (solely a .2 % improve, but it surely counts) and Joc Pederson, who’s but to get a success in 14 at-bats since his quick stint on the bench nursing an adductor strain in late April. I don’t suppose it’s a coincidence that the Giants have misplaced six of seven since Pederson was compelled to overlook time. Oh, they’ve additionally averaged simply 3.29 runs in that span, which might be the fourth-worst mark in MLB forward of solely the Royals, Tigers, and lowly Reds. Yikes!
You possibly can blame the vastness of Oracle Park as a lot as you need, however the workforce has performed 13 games at home and 13 on the street this 12 months whereas scoring solely two extra runs away from home than in Oracle, so it’s clearly not a plague restricted to the San Francisco metropolis limits.
The Giants are a workforce constructed to succeed on the well-roundedness of their lineup and the power to hit the lengthy ball. The workforce has been found out throughout their five-game shedding streak. Through the workforce’s first 18 games of the season (by which they went 13-5), they’d hit 21 home runs. Regardless of their low stroll price and excessive stranded runners price throughout that stretch, they have been winning as a result of they have been capable of drop bombs. Since then, they’ve hit simply 5 home runs. They’re 1-7 and at the moment sit at fourth place within the NL West, solely a half sport forward of last-place Arizona. Even with the additional wild card workforce in 2022, the Giants’ street to the postseason is troublesome, and until they get the lengthy ball going once more, they gained’t even come shut this 12 months.