The Giants have played exactly 82 games, and it’s not an especially encouraging view just beyond the halfway mark.
San Francisco begins the second half 12 games under .500 and 19-1/2 games back of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West just seven games before the All-Star Break.
They have scored 316 runs in 2019 while allowing 411, giving them a National League-worst minus-95 run differential that places them as third-worst in the big leagues, behind the Orioles (-165) and Detroit (-149).
As the team braces for the impending fire sale of possible trade chips like Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson with the approach of next month’s trade deadline, it’s more or less a given that the hole the Giants have dug themselves is a grave.
This is particularly apparent when you consider that the kind of pitching they have on the trading block is largely what’s kept the Giants from sinking to the depths of run-differential despair teams like the Orioles reside in.
Nevertheless, after joking about the halfway-mark of his last managerial season giving him carte blanche to become a “manager gone wild,” Bochy remained hopeful that his club could make something of the second half:
“We’re disappointed. We look at a lot of these games and I think we should have, could have won. A mistake here or there or just not quite executing little things, I think [that] caught up with us in the first half and hopefully we can get that turned around.”
He said the team’s focus moving forward will be on getting the starting rotation into a rhythm. San Francisco starters have struggled to maintain an even keel, and Bochy said he’d like to see his pitching staff do a better job making up for the fact that the Giants don’t have the assets to produce runs by the bunches::
“We’re not a team that can get behind or slug it on a consistent basis. So I’d like to see us just be more consistent on the mound in starting situation.”
Bochy didn’t let his hitters off the hook, though. He said his team’s offense was not what he was expecting going into the season and he said he believes they’re better than what they’ve done in the first half:
“The numbers show that some guys are where they’ve never been as far as numbers whether it’s power, slugging or on base and so that’s going to improve, too, trust me. We’ve got to get consistency there. The heart of our order — we haven’t done enough there.”
But Buster Posey is hopeful about the second half, and he thinks pitching could lead them to a stronger finish:
“Anderson [pitched well], Beede had a good start [Thursday]. Bums throwing the ball well, I think the game always starts with good pitching and defense. And with those guys throwing the ball better and better, hopefully we can get on a groove swinging the bats and see what happens.”
Game No. 81 offered some encouragement with regard to the Giants offense, though. Slumping veterans Posey and Brandon Crawford alongside the newest San Francisco phenomenon Alex Dickerson combined for an 8-for-12 with four RBI in the Giants 6-3 victory over the Diamondbacks.
When Crawford was asked what he hoped to see in the second half after earning his 1,000 hit Friday night, he didn’t mince words:
“More wins—it actually is as simple as that.”