Our parents taught as young children never to kick anyone when they’re down, unless it’s the San Francisco Giants.
Then, have at it. So forgive the gleefulness here, but seriously, how do you plummet so miserably in one off-season? It’s almost like their winning the World Series last fall was a fluke.
Of course, it’s wise to never get carried away and pound too cheerfully while someone is down, because chances are one day they will rise again. Unless they’re the Cubs. And next season will offer an even calendar year, when the Giants tend to do the unexplainable.
But right now, at this moment, they truly reek. The National League West has four teams with winning records, and the Giants. Look at their current lineup and rotation and it’s easy to see why.
Obviously the Dodgers did, because they’ve decided to skip Zack Greinke’s regular turn Thursday, rest him a day and call up a minor leaguer to pitch against the rival Giants in their three-game series finale in San Francisco.
How low can you go? The Giants may still be finding out.
They opened Tuesday having scored only 2.64 runs per game, the third lowest in the major leagues. Outside of Buster Posey, their lineup is unimpressive. They lost third baseman Pablo Sandoval and outfielder Michael Morse in the off-season to free agency and then Hunter Pence to a broken arm in spring training.
Casey McGeHee, brought in to replace Sandoval, is hitting .194 with two RBI. Brandon Belt, the first baseman they hoped would make up for some of the Sandoval-Morse-Pence power loss, is hitting .152 with no homers and two RBI. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, who has never hit more than 10 home runs in one season in his career, currently leads the Giants with three homers and seven RBI while batting .200. Gregor Blanco, who filled in so well for Angel Pagan in center in the second half last season, is hitting .225 with one RBI.
I thought it was the city across the bay where there was no there there.
The rotation, long the strength of their winning teams, also appears in big trouble. Former ace Matt Cain in on the disabled list with a bad elbow, the same one he had bone chips removed from last year. Jake Peavy is out with a bad back. Tim Lincecum, who’s had a 4.76 ERA over the past three seasons, is a regular member of the rotation, as apparently is Ryan Vogelsong, 37. And did I mention postseason stud Madison Bumgarner pitched 270 innings last seasoin?
Now the Halloween-Colored Boys won’t always win at their current .286 clip (4-10), though a guy can dream. They’ve lost nine of their last 10, while the Dodgers have won seven straight. Of course, the way this historic series goes, the Dodgers get swept.
Doubt it, though. Right now the Giants are monumentally bad. Only one team in major league history has gone from World Series champion to last place the next season, and that was the completely gutted 1997 Marlins. It seems too much to hope for, but you know, our parents taught us to hope, too.