Reason for optimism No. 8: Offense has to get better
The Giants’ team batting average (.242) ranks 12th in the National League.
The teams’ 204 walks ranks 14th in the league.
Their slugging percentage (.365) ranks 14th in the NL.
Their 241 runs scored ranks 15th.
We all knew the Giants were going to be the best-hitting club in the National League. But what we didn’t expect was that their offensive production of 2010 would regress to 2009 levels.
Depsite all of these offensive struggles, the Giants have still managed to win games thanks to an outstanding pitching staff.
It’s just as Aubrey Huff recently said: “My God, if we hit a lick, we’d be 10 games over the Diamondbacks.”
Perhaps Huff needed to change the “we” to “I” as Huff has been the poster boy for the Giants offensive struggles.
Yet, Huff is also the poster boy for the Giants’ reason for optimism.
Huff’s numbers last year (26 HRs, 86 RBI, .290 avg) were very good, but they were career-year numbers, as some would have you believe.
His home run total was the fourth-best of his career. His RBI numbers ranked fifth for his career. His average was his fifth-best for his career.
In his career, Huff’s average numbers for a 162-game season were 25 HRs, 91 RBI and .281 avg — pretty much right in line with his numbers from 2010.
In short, his 2011 numbers HAVE TO get better. And in recent days, we’ve started to see the tide change for Huff.
Huff has hit safely 9 of his last 10 games. After opening the month with .218 average, he’s now hitting .239 — the highest his season average has been since April 18.
More importantly, he’s being more patient at the plate, getting ahead of counts and starting to hit to left field. All good signs.
And it’s not just Huff. Miguel Tejada is still hitting just .223. But he’s hitting .289 over his last 10 games.
Aaron Rowand has seen his opportunities diminish with Nate Schierholtz playing well. Yet Rowand is 7 for 23 (.304) in his last six starts dating back to June 6, mostly against left-handed hitters.
And Pat Burrell needs to recapture some of his magic from last year, and not just hit home runs when the Giants are trailing.