The long, strange trip known as the 2015 baseball season is coming to a close for the San Francisco Giants. After a brutal 8-0 loss to the rival Dodgers yesterday the Giants are officially eliminated from making the playoffs this season. But hey, it’s an odd year, what did we expect?
Personally, I thought the odd year BS would end with this team but alas, it was not meant to be. I’m not ready to look ahead to 2016 and what will surely be another title, so today let’s look back at 2015 and wonder what if.
So where did it go wrong? It seems easy to say injuries. I don’t want to pin it all on that but let’s just get it out of the way now. By my count 16 different Giants spent time on the DL this season. I have no idea how many games they all missed, I’m sure someone did the math. There’s fewer pitchers than you’d think. Here’s the list of players that missed games due to injury in 2015.
Casey McGehee (remember him?)
That’s a long list with a lot of key guys on it. There are FOUR players finishing the season on the DL with concussion related symptoms and there have been a lot of tweaked sides and backs. It’s been ugly, it took away the guts of the team, it just plain sucked. If I missed someone, comment below. With this season it’s entirely possible for that to happen.
The Giants have 82 wins right now and will finish with a winning record. They were a good but not great team when it’s all said and done over a long season. Even with the high turnover the Giants offense leads the NL in hits, batting average, and is tied for the lead in OBP. They’ve scored the 4th most runs in the National League. So offense wasn’t really the hang up this season. Sure, there could be more long balls. We all like dingers. But the Giants offense held its own this season.
There were three things that really hurt 2015. The Giants didn’t play well in 1-run games, the starting pitching was inconsistent, and a lack of depth was exposed. I’m not trying to call this season a failure. Sure I’m glad the team is over .500 but the goal always was, and forever will be, winning championships.
Giants are 18-27 in 1 run games and 3-15 in their last 18 (2 in a row). What the season could’ve been with a .500 record in those games.
— TortureCast (@TortureCast) September 29, 2015
Chad said it all the other night with that tweet. Had the Giants won just a few more 1-run games they’d be playing the Dodgers for first place right now.
Part of the reason for those close losses all season? The starting pitching. Do you know who has the 3rd most starts for the Giants this season? Ryan Vogelsong. Didn’t see that one coming did you? Chris Heston had the no-hitter early and was a lot of fun but then he lost control of where pitches went and had to take a break. What if the Jake Peavy that has been on fire since returning from the DL had been there all season? Who knows. What the Giants had was a dominant Madison Bumgarner and a revolving door of starters. He can carry a team through a month, not a whole season.
I’ll admit it. I like watching Kelby Tomlinson fly and Jarrett Parker trot around the bases. Marlon Byrd has been average and Alejandro De Aza arrived just a month too late. In fact, all the good depth arrived just a little too late. Nobody on the bench turned in to “that guy” for late game situations. The best bench player was Matt Duffy who took the third base job and never let go. Between the starting pitching and depth it’s no wonder the Giants lost so many 1-run games down the stretch.
That’s ok. It’s time to breathe, take an October off and watch some other teams battle it out. Let the odd year BS be your chance to catch up with loved ones plus your blood pressure and liver will thank you. It’s kinda nice to have that luxury.
We recorded Episode 97 the other night if you missed it. The TortureCast crew is at the game tonight. Follow along on Twitter. Also make sure to like us on Facebook, check out our podcasts on iTunes or Stitcher and subscribe to our Youtube channel.