|2007 Postmortem: The San Francisco Giants||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on November 30, 2007
Last in the NL West and tied for 14th in the National League.
Home Runs: Barry Bonds 28
Average: Randy Winn .300
RBI: Bengie Molina 81
Runs: Barry Bonds 75
Steals: Dave Roberts 31
Wins: Noah Lowry 14
ERA: Matt Cain 3.65
Strikeouts: Matt Cain 163
Saves: Brad Hennessey 19
Highlight of the season: The final day. This was an ugly season for this franchise and trying to find a real highlight worth mentioning is tough. Barry Bonds dragged this organization down and the highlight might well have been the day the team announced they weren’t going to re-sign him.
Low point of the season: Watching the Giants celebrate and pay tribute to Barry Bonds, the poster boy for steroids, as he stole the all time home run record. The organization has been in denial about who and what Bonds really is so long as they could profit from his bat. The fact that baseball didn’t make a spectacle of it when it should have been one of the biggest moments in modern baseball history says a lot. Shame on the Giants organization for pretending it was.
Best move of the season: Signing Bengie Molina to catch for the team. Bengie had one of the strongest seasons of his career (.376-19-81) offensively and added a veteran presence behind the plate which may have helped stabilize a weak staff and made them better. He lead the team in RBIs and was second in home runs.
Worst move of the season: Putting the rebuilding off for another year and paying Barry Bonds to play for the team. Sure Barry put some people in the seats, but the salary they paid him would have paid for 2-3 free agents who would have made this a better team and started them in the right direction.
The Giants did play lip service to that idea by splurging on Barry Zito - the worst non-Bonds move that the team made. Zito managed a pedestrian 11-13 record with a 4.53 ERA which actually looks a lot better on paper than Barry looked on the mound.
Key Player: Barry Bonds. Who else could it be? Love him or hate him, Barry is the man who everyone came to see and who single handedly dragged the team down with the size of his contract. He’s the teams star player and even though he hit about half as well as he did two years ago that didn’t stop him from scaring plenty of opposing pitchers.
Up and Coming Player: Matt Cain. Cain doesn’t make the kind of money that teammate Barry Zito does but Cain was the Giants most dominating pitcher despite a dreadful 7-16 record. He lead the team in strikeout (163), innings pitched (200) and quality starts (22 of 32). His 3.65 ERA promises that there are better things to come.
What went right: The pitching ranked 5th in the National League (4.19) but of the starters only Noah Lowry came out of the season with a winning record. The team’s best starting ERA however belonged to Matt Cain who posted a 3.65 to go along with a 7-16 record - mainly due to poor run support.
The relief pitching was the strongest part of the team and Brad Hennesey, Kevin Correa, Tyler Walker, Vinnie Chulk and Brian Wilson all posted sub 4.00 ERAS and combined for 50 holds and 16 of the team’s 70 wins.
What went wrong: The Giants scored just 10 more runs than the Washington Nationals and finished 15th out of 16th in runs scored. The sputtering offense rarely provided a lead and mediocre relief pitching made sure that almost every game was an adventure - though not a pleasant one.
Offseason Preview: The Giants have jettisoned Barry Bonds just in time to participate in one of the weakest free agent markets in the last decade. There is plenty of mediocre and bargain basement talent available as well as plenty of guys who’ve come off a terrible season in 2007.
However even mediocre offensive talent will be a step up for this team and there are plenty of low level players they can sign. But this team needs to find a new offensive heart and they are likely to be big time players in the trade market. Their heart is set on the Marlins Miguel Cabrera but they’ll face a lot of competition for him.