Put simply, the boys aren't getting it done. You could argue that they haven't been getting it done for awhile now, and they're lucky to even be anywhere near first place in the NL West. If you ask me, things just might get a lot worse before they get any better.
The starting rotation has yet to find its groove. Sure, there's a quality start here and there, but they've only mustered 2 quality starts in the last 15 games, and not once on the road since April. April!
The defense has already committed a major league high 25 errors in May, and the month isn't even over yet. For every spectacular play there is an error (or three) like the one depicted in the photo above that completely compromises the Giants' chances and leads to a big inning.
The offense has not been consistent, particularly the heart of the order. With Pagan sidelined indefinitely, Blanco went 0-12 in the leadoff spot. Torres took over last night and has been on fire, and he managed to get on base 4 times, raising his average to .287 and his .OBP to .333. I hope he continues to make me the fool for doubting him. Blanco also reached base three times hitting in the 8th hole. It's not a bad strategy, packaging speed around the 9 hole and giving Scutaro a chance to move the line for the big boys. Ultimately though, the Giants played from behind the entire game, and they struggled early on to put up runs against yet another starter with an ERA over 4.00.
In the end, the Giants put up 6 runs, which should be more than enough when you consider the staff they have throwing the ball.
In my previous post, I opined that the Giants should let Kickham start on Sunday in St. Louis. That idea was obliterated the very next day when Kickham was sent back down to Triple-A, and Ramon Ramirez was promoted to help out a beleaguered and over-used bullpen.
Which brings me to the foreboding "Storm Brewing" title - the Giants play 19 of their next 22 road games against winning teams, and the one team they play that isn't winning? The Los Angeles Dodgers, whose bloodlust will drive them to give the Giants fits at Chavez Ravine. If the Giants continue to play as they have, with the worst road ERA in the NL, then they could easily find themselves 7, 8, or even 9 games out of first place three weeks from now.
The good news? They aren't fooling themselves. They know their backs are up against the wall and they aren't playing their game. They know they need to get their act together, and their manager said as much after the game last night. It won't be easy, but neither was the 2012 postseason. Different time, maybe, but not a different team.
The reason for optimism lies in the same place it should be for this Giants team. Not in over-sized contracts or glorified stats, but rather, in team chemistry. The winning formula for the Giants, however, is quality pitching and timely hitting. Until they can bottle that, the clouds above will continue to darken.