Fresh from a franchise best With 107 wins, no one expected the San Francisco Giants to repeat themselves as NL West champions in 2022. The departure of key players such as Buster Posey, Kris Bryant and Kevin Gausman would be difficult to overcome. The Giants managed to replace Gausman with Carlos Rodón in free agency and the team hoped that Joey Bart, former second overall draft pick, would be a suitable replacement for Posey. The team has never attempted to replace Bryant. Rodon was great. Bart not so much, and that’s kind of exemplary for the Giants’ season so far. The Giants’ pitching staff was phenomenal, but their offense failed to recapture the magic of 2021, largely due to their lack of home runs.
In 2021 the Giants closed the regular season second in MLB in home runs (241; Toronto: 262). However, in 2022, the Giants are currently 12th with just 25. They average nearly one home run per game, which is good, but nowhere near what the Giants need to compete. The homerun threat was what made the Giants offense buzz last season. They scored a lot (ninth most in MLB in 2021), but made up for it with their ability to produce round-trippers. That will no longer be the case in 2022.
The team is still hitting around the same clip (23.6 percent in 2021, 23.1 percent in 2022), but their home run percentage has fallen off the table, from 3.9 percent in 2021 (the third-highest in MLB ), to just 2.6 percent this year. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, who had a career year at age 34 last season, had 24 home runs this year, but only 2 home runs. Brandon Belt has 4 and utility man Wilmer Flores has 2. Outfielder Darin Ruf has not hit a homerun yet. The only players whose home runs have increased in 2022 and have played 20 or more games for the team this year are Austin Slater (up only 0.2 percent, but it counts) and Joc Pederson, who have yet to hit a goal. has made in 14 at bats since his brief stint on the bench as a nurse and adductor strain end of April. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Giants have lost six out of seven since Pederson had to run out of time. Oh, they also averaged just 3.29 runs over that period, which would be the fourth worst figure in MLB, ahead of just the Royals, Tigers and humble Reds† Yaks!
You can blame the vastness of Oracle Park as much as you like, but the team has played 13 games at home and 13 on the road this year, scoring just two more runs away from home than in Oracle, so it’s clearly no plague confined to San Francisco city limits.
The Giants are a team built to succeed on the well-rounded lineup and ability to hit the long ball. The team was discovered during their five-game losing streak. During the first 18 games of the season (going 13-5), they had hit 21 homeruns. Despite their slow running speed and high stranded runners on that stretch, they won because they could drop bombs. Since then, they have hit only five home runs. They are 1-7 and currently in fourth place in NL West, just half a game ahead of last place Arizona. Even with the additional wildcard team in 2022, the Giants’ road into the postseason is tough, and unless they get the long ball going again, they won’t even come close this year.