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Giants hit 20 straight solo homers

Posted by Andy on August 13, 2011 has the story, courtesy of David Vincent. The Giants just set the record for most consecutive solo home runs.

Here are their last 21 homers, which includes the 20 solo jobs:

Date Batter Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI Play Description
2011-08-12 Pablo Sandoval @FLA Ricky Nolasco tied 0-0 t1 --- 2 2 (0-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF)
2011-08-10 Pablo Sandoval PIT Jeff Karstens down 1-0 b1 --- 2 3 (1-1) 1 Home Run (Line Drive to Deep RF Line)
2011-08-09 Aubrey Huff PIT James McDonald ahead 0-2 b6 --- 1 3 (1-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF Line)
2011-08-09 Chris Stewart PIT James McDonald ahead 0-1 b5 --- 0 1 (0-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF Line)
2011-08-06 Pablo Sandoval PHI Cole Hamels down 2-0 b9 --- 2 4 (2-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF-CF)
2011-08-05 Eli Whiteside PHI Vance Worley down 5-1 b5 --- 0 2 (0-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF Line)
2011-08-01 Aubrey Huff ARI Ian Kennedy down 5-1 b7 --- 0 11 (3-2) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF)
2011-08-01 Cody Ross ARI Ian Kennedy tied 0-0 b1 --- 0 3 (0-2) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF)
2011-07-30 Pablo Sandoval @CIN Mike Leake down 5-0 t2 --- 0 2 (1-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep CF-RF)
2011-07-28 Pablo Sandoval @PHI Kyle Kendrick tied 0-0 t2 --- 0 2 (1-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF Line)
2011-07-26 Aaron Rowand @PHI Vance Worley down 6-1 t8 --- 2 1 (0-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF)
2011-07-22 Aaron Rowand MIL Shaun Marcum down 4-1 b6 --- 0 2 (1-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF)
2011-07-19 Brandon Belt LAD Rubby De La Rosa tied 0-0 b2 --- 0 4 (1-2) 1 Home Run (Line Drive to Deep RF Line)
2011-07-18 Pablo Sandoval LAD Chad Billingsley tied 0-0 b4 --- 0 1 (0-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF)
2011-07-16 Miguel Tejada @SDP Cory Luebke down 8-1 t6 --- 1 3 (2-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF-CF)
2011-07-15 Cody Ross @SDP Dustin Moseley ahead 0-1 t2 --- 0 3 (1-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF Line)
2011-07-14 Aubrey Huff @SDP Heath Bell down 1-0 t9 --- 0 5 (0-2) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF Line)
2011-07-08 Nate Schierholtz NYM R.A. Dickey down 2-1 b6 --- 1 1 (0-0) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF Line)
2011-07-07 Eli Whiteside SDP Cory Luebke tied 0-0 b3 --- 0 3 (1-1) 1 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF)
2011-07-06 Nate Schierholtz SDP Pat Neshek tied 5-5 b14 --- 0 5 (1-2) 1 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF)
2011-07-06 Nate Schierholtz SDP Dustin Moseley down 4-1 b4 -2- 2 5 (3-1) 2 Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF Line); Sandoval Scores
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/13/2011.

27 Responses to “Giants hit 20 straight solo homers”

  1. Steven Says:

    And this is why Curt Schilling said he'd rather give up solo HRs than walk guys. And the Giants just keep on losing...

  2. w Says:

    As bad as their offense is,I'm kind of surprised they have 20 HR total for the season

  3. Andy Says:

    They have hit 76, tied for 4th fewest in the NL:

    But they have allowed 72, fewest in the NL:

  4. Neil L. Says:

    You don't want to ever thumb your nose at a home run. And a batter can't chose when he wants to hit them.

    This many consecutive solo home runs should correlate with a poor team
    OBP and an overall poor run-scoring ability. Giants guilty on both counts.

    Only Seattle is worse for RPG and OBP. At least San Francisco has hit more home runs than five other ML teams, 11 more than the woeful Padres, among others.

    The delicate balance between offense and pitching in baseball is a delicious tension. While most teams would give their eye teeth to have the Giants starters and bullpen, who would take on their lineup's offensive challenges?

    I think the AL team most similar to the Giants are the Angels.

    Carlos Beltran has yet to make players around him in the lineup better, IMO. Is he being dragged down by the plate inepitude of his new teammates or is he raising the level of their productivity?

    So far, I submit, the Beltran trade has yet to pay dividends.

  5. John Autin Says:

    Neil, Beltran has been out of the lineup for the last 4 games, during which SF has scored 9 total runs. He hit .321 in the 11 games before his injury; he only had 11 PAs with RISP in those 11 games. Yes, he only had 2 hits and 2 RBI in those 11 chances ... but if he had posted good rates in those 11 chances (say, 4 hits and 5 RBI), would it have meant any extra wins for SF?

    Also, baseball isn't basketball. The effect of one hitter improving those around him is almost impossible to prove.

  6. John Autin Says:

    Giants' HR rates:

    -- With bases empty, 1 HR per 51 PAs.
    -- With anyone on base, 1 HR per 75 PAs.

    Still, their biggest problem is simply getting runners on. You're not going to win a lot of games with a .303 OBP, no matter how efficiently you convert those runners.

    Ultimately, I think their 12-15 record since the break reflects the razor-thin margin of their previous success. They were 52-40 at the break, but had scored only 10 runs more than their opponents. Even now, they're still 6 games better than their Pythagorean record.

    Through July 27, the Giants were 28-14 in 1-run games, 60-44 overall. Almost half their wins, and almost all of their games over .500, came from 1-run wins. That's just not a recipe for long-term success. They haven't won a 1-run game since then.

  7. Neil L. Says:

    JA, my bad, about not being aware of Carlos Beltran out of the lineup for SF.

    His recent plate appearances, prior to injury, notwithstanding, his statistics for the Giants, since the trade, don't jump off the page.

    In evaluating the trade from San Francisco's point of view, I guess we'll have to wait until the end of the season. But his unavailability to start for his new team has to be factored into the evaluation. The Giants knew his age and history when they made the deal.

    "Also, baseball isn't basketball. The effect of one hitter improving those around him is almost impossible to prove"

    JA, you could have added hockey to your post. It was always said of Wayne Gretzky that he made teammates "better" by setting them up with great passes and taking the defence's attention away from them. Also, obviously, Michael Jordan,

    But I guess both basketball and hockey, where play is continuous, not discrete, and the whole offense is in play simultaneously are not comparable to baseball where each play is unconnected to the one before or after it.

    However, shouldn't the other Giants batters be able to capitalize on Beltran's presence and reputation in the lineup? Is there not a ripple effect of having a decent batter in the lineup that is felt beyond his own batting order slot?

    What I mean is the batter in front of Beltran knowing he might get more pitches to hit et cetera.

  8. Andy Says:

    Neil, I think such effects, such as the effect of a particular player on the rest of the lineup, tend to be exaggerated in baseball. I'll give a simple example---when a team loses a power-hitting outfielder to free agency, it's not unusual to hear someone say "how will they replace those 30 HR and 100 RBI?" (or whatever the guy's numbers were.) But it's fairly easy to get a replacement-level outfielder--the team probably has one in AAA. So the issue is really replacing the difference between 30 HR and that of a replacement player--so the true loss is maybe 10-20 HR, not 30. Many such mistakes in estimation are made by looking at absolute numbers instead of relative.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    You're a tough critic, Neil, judging the trade after 2 weeks. The Giants didn't give up any major leaguers to get Beltran. I don't know who they sat down to play him, but with such an anemic offense I doubt it was anyone good. Beltran doesn't have a reputation as a jerk, so I can't see how this trade won't make them better for this season.

    Whatever effect he might have on his teammates is small, and if he's capable of having 11 poor games (as any player is), there's no reason to think his residual impact should suddenly be obvious throughout the rest of the lineup.

    I see that he's having wrist problems which might put him on the DL. Wrists are tricky for hitters. Hope it's not serious.

  10. Neil L. Says:

    Andy, thank you. You are the voice of baseball reason. My naive questions are only a poor attempt to understand baseball better.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that only truly elite baseball players, for example Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig, would have a spill-over effect on other battters in the lineup, offensively. Players like that are comparable to a Gretzky or a Jordan.

    Most players are replaceable, even the Carlos Beltrans or Jason Bays of the baseball world.

  11. John Autin Says:

    Re: one strong hitter improving the rest of the lineup:

    I think it might be possible to find systematic evidence of the converse(?) -- one hitter's performance improving as a result of being surrounded by a stronger lineup.

    But I would be very surprised to see any convincing evidence that one good hitter has any measurable impact on the rest of the lineup.

    You'll hear about this every year, of course, always cited in the affirmative -- "Roy Hobbs has really improved that whole Mammoths lineup!" And they'll cite some 50-game sample; and it means nothing. You never hear about the instances where the addition of one good hitter has no short-term effect or makes the lineup worse -- so in that respect, I'm very glad Neil brought this up.

    Bill James often said that there was no evidence of the widely-believed phenomenon of "lineup protection," and I've never seen him proved wrong. So if one good hitter can't really impact the guy right in front of him, I have a very hard time believing he can impact a guy 5 spots away.

  12. Johnny Twisto Says:

    When did Hobbs get traded to the Mammoths? I've been too busy....

  13. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I do think players in the lineup affect each other, but it happens more on a micro scale. A pitcher will approach a particular PA in a certain way based on the game-state, including who's gotten on base and who's on-deck. I don't know that one great hitter will get the hitter in front of him better pitches throughout a season. I mean, why is Pedroia drawing so many walks this season batting in front of Adrian Gonzalez? (Yes, just one example, but I'm sure the talking heads would have expected the opposite.) I think the Baseball Prospectus Between the Numbers book of a few years ago provided some evidence that pitchers will go after a particular batter harder than usual if they're worried about who's on deck.

  14. Jason W Says:

    "You never hear about the instances where the addition of one good hitter has no short-term effect or makes the lineup worse"

    Unless it's Alex Rodriguez 🙂 Remember, the Yankees will never win with him on their team, nevereverever.

  15. John Autin Says:

    Make it 21 straight solo HRs for the Giants.

  16. John Autin Says:

    @12, JT -- Yeah, it seems I traded Hobbs for Author Wiggen and all of Dutch Schnell's left-handed pitching. It was a salary dump, mostly.

  17. Neil L. Says:

    By gosh, JA, a quote from The Natural. A young Kim Basinger and the baseball scenes filmed in the "Rockpile", the old War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, NY!

    "I have a very hard time believing he can impact a guy 5 spots away."

    I'm not saying the lineup is affected that far away from an individual batter. And all discussions are predicated on the handedness of the pitcher and the hitters on any given day.

    I do recall Bill James writing in one of his Abstract essays or team articles that lineup makes very little difference other than having your best hitters stacked at the top of the order.

    Could the Giants tinker with their lineup to get more out of the home runs, though?

  18. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Having no idea what the Giants' usual lineup is, I'll eyeball it and see how I think they should order it.

    And...yikes. I mean, who do you have lead off in this lineup? I guess I'd go with Torres. He had a decent OBP last season, fluky as it may have been, and has speed. Oy. Maybe,

    1. Torres - 8
    2. Beltran - 9
    3. Huff - 3
    4. Sandoval - 5
    5. Schierholtz - 7
    6. Keppinger - 4
    7. Whiteside - 2
    8. Cabrera - 6

    Rowand in for Schierholtz against LHP. Doesn't matter where you bat him. I'm so depressed now.

  19. Neil L. Says:

    JT, you are playing manager. Very nice lineup. 🙂

    You have Carlos Beltran hitting second. A, pardon my French, ballsy move!

  20. Steve Says:

    Bill James brought my attention to the fact that many managers made lineups that made little sense.

  21. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Going with The Book strategy of putting your best hitters 1, 2, and 4. Picking Beltran and Sandoval as the top 2 is easy. After that, yeesh. Looks like Keppinger has been batting 2nd for them lately. On another team I'd deride it as choosing a guy who "handles the bat well" (but can't actually hit much) for a key spot in the lineup. But Keppinger actually has been a decent hitter the past few years (98 OPS+ since 2009), and on the Giants that's better than most can say, so it may not be a bad move.

    Torres, Beltran, and Sandoval are all switch-hitters, which I kind of like packed at the top of the order. Not sure how much difference it really makes though.

  22. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    Hey all you saber-dorks, these are the Champions you're talking about.
    I hope they win it all again with the worst offense in the league.

  23. Cabriael Says:

    With that kind of office, there will be another Denkinger to ruin the Giants' chance.

  24. Cabriael Says:

    I meant to say "Offense".

    Some people might call me insane, but sticking to an antiquated notion and staunchly defending wrong decisions is not a good mark of sanity.

  25. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Cabriael, who are the 3 worst umpires of all the maroons currently employed by MLB?

  26. Andy II Says:

    Maybe the Giants should move to the AL West where they can use the DH.

  27. stan cook Says:

    It occurred to me if all the Giants' players reproduced the best seasons of their caeers.....Huff Burrell Sandoval Rowand Sanchez Torres Posey Tejada