At the beginning of August, the Giants trailed the Padres by one game and led the Wild Card race.

They came off a month where they won 20 of their 28 games. They led the majors in runs scored.

But since then they are 7-8 and have fallen to five games back in the division. Now they are on the outside looking in on the playoff picture.

What happened? Three things.


Power outage:

Since the Giants entered the month of August, the offense has sputtered along with little consistency (unless you count consistently bad).

In their 15 games, they have scored a total of 54 runs. That is good for 3.6 runs per game.

One of those games they scored 10 runs in. If you take that game out, 44 runs in 14 games is 3.1 runs per game.

The only solace I can find in this is it’s not a surprise. We knew the offense needed help, and now we are seeing why. Many people started to drink the Kool-Aid of a really hot month for the offense.

This offense is still only 18th in RBIs, even after leading the league in runs for a month. What does that tell you?


Where’d the pitching go?

The one strength of this team was supposed to be pitching. More specifically, the starting pitching.

Well, the Giants have gone 13 games without a starting pitcher picking up a win.

Some of that is Barry Zito getting lit up and Tim Lincecum not being able to find the strike zone. And some of it has to do with the offense not scoring enough runs.

Whatever the case, it has not been good.

Lincecum entered August with an ERA of 3.10. In three starts it has ballooned to 3.62, and he has an ERA of 9.00 and an 0-3 record in that time.

Zito’s ERA in August is higher than in any other month this season. His 4.91 ERA has earned him two no decisions and last night’s loss.

Matt Cain’s ERA is much like his career. Good, but not good enough for this offense. He has an August ERA of 2.89 and one win in his three starts.

Jonathan Sanchez’s mouth has gotten him into trouble lately, and his performances have not helped the case. Despite starting the month with six shutout innings against the Rockies, his performances have mirrored his career: Inconsistent.

In his last two starts, he has given up seven runs in nine and a third innings (6.75 ERA).

Even young Madison Bumgarner has not been impervious to this trend. In three starts, he has an ERA of 4.86 and has allowed 31 baserunners in 16.2 innings. That’s almost two an inning!

But this is not the most troubling part about this month.


The competition is better

Remember who the Giants played last month?

The Nationals, Brewers, Rockies, Dodgers, D-Backs, Mets, and Marlins.

Now, take a look at the standings. Only two of those teams are above .500 and those two teams are only four and two games above .500.

They have a combined winning percentage of .471.

This month?

Cardinals, Reds, Phillies, Braves, Padres, Cubs, Rockies, and D-Backs.

They play or have played each division leader, and the top Wild Card contenders this month.

All but two of those teams have a record above .500. The combined winning percentage? .554.


The offense is having trouble with the tougher pitching staffs and the pitching staff has forgotten how to keep runners off the base paths.

But as I said in another article (, this could very well be the month that makes or breaks the Giants.

It is starting to lean toward break.

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