The San Francisco Giants offensive struggles could force the team to sell

DENVER, CO - JULY 16: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 16: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants’ offense has hit a bit of a dry spell right before the trade deadline. Their recent offensive struggles could force management to rethink the team’s direction.

The San Francisco Giants have had a July for the ages. After three months of below-average baseball — just as everyone had expected — the team exploded seemingly out of nowhere reviving their season and throwing a wrench in any midseason plans.

The starters were holding their own and the bullpen was still going strong. But most of all, the Giants bats were hitting.

A lineup that had looked about as lifeless and inept as a major-league lineup could be all of a sudden start to hit. They weren’t just hitting, they were knocking the cover off the ball.

Up until recently, the Giants were the National League leaders in home runs, runs scored, batting average and OPS for the month of July. And even with the recent woes, the team still ranks top-four in each of those categories including first in runs scored.

But all of a sudden, the Giants offense has seemingly disappeared as quickly as it arose.

San Francisco has failed to score more than five runs in each of their last nine games and hasn’t scored more than three in six of those nine. Their offensive struggles have been masked by a 6-3 record over that time span, but they have become one-dimensional.

And that was the problem with the team earlier in the season.

The starters would be walking a fine line with little run support and even though the bullpen would usually come in and close out games, one little slip up would perhaps be fatal. They just didn’t have the offensive firepower to compete.

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Unfortunately, the Giants have fallen into that same trap over the last week or so and while it may not have drastically hurt the team yet, the signs of regression are beginning to show.

In fact, even though the team has still won six of their last nine games, they have been outscored 33-25 during that span. Amazingly, every single one of their six victories has come via a one-run margin — a large part of the reason for their poor run differential.

And therein lies the problem.

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The Giants’ veteran players have been outspoken about the team not selling at the deadline. The fans have been clamoring for a competitive product over the final few months of the season — especially with Bruce Bochy‘s final games looming.

And with the Giants hitting and winning the way that they were, it was pretty hard to disagree. The front office could have simply stuck to their plan and sold regardless, but the backlash would have been immense.

However, this recent cold spell at the plate could be just that — a cold spell. Or it could be a sign of things to come. A sign that this month was simply a mirage and that the Giants are exactly who were thought they were.

July be damned.

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Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the Giants front office will still have a couple of days to make a decision, but time is running very short. With the August waiver deadline now gone, July 31st is the final day that trades could be completed.

No more loopholes. And that means that each and every game that the Giants offense comes out flat just adds more fuel to the firesale that could still very well take place.

It may just be July, but each game feels like an October postseason matchup.

Every win is a step in the right direction and every loss is one step closer to sealing the fate of the season. Not just any season, but the final season in Bochy’s career. Perhaps the final season of Madison Bumgarner‘s Giants career.

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With realistically two more games before the deadline, the Giants must prove that this past week or so was just a fluke. If not, then that could indicate to management that this week was more of the norm than a fluke.

And that the real fluke was the couple of weeks prior.