San Francisco Giants mired in offensive slump 

This isn’t a June Swoon, it’s an “Oh gawd, how do we get back to last October?”

It’s a season of Murphy’s Law baseball, with the people who aren’t getting injured unable to get out of slumps.

“It’s going to have to pick up,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We know it.”

You do? Maybe last year was the aberration. This year is the irritation. There’s nothing to be done about Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, except to accept their absence. It doesn’t do any good wishing they were here, because they’re not here.

Aubrey Huff is here, and he’s not hitting. A hitter who isn’t hitting, it happens. Then again, Panda, Brandon Crawford and Miguel Tejada aren’t hitting either.

And more significantly, nobody is scoring. Five runs in three games against the A’s? Seven in the last four games overall?

The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees get that many in an inning.

Yes, pitching wins, but that adage is based on the presumption a team will present a representative offense. Poor Matt Cain. Poor Madison Bumgarner. Poor Giants.

Meanwhile, the team we had decided had no chance, the A’s, switches managers and begins to prove it can do more than lose 10 in a row.

It’s hard to figure how replacing someone who does little more than fill out a lineup card can make a difference, but with the A’s, apparently it has.

Bob Melvin has people happy and performing, which, until the last couple of weeks, was what Bochy was doing.

This still remains a team-and-a-half community. (You hesitate to say the Bay Area is a one-team town, since it riles the good folk in Oakland.)

The A’s keep that stupid tarp on seats in the upper deck as if to say, “We don’t want you,” and owner Lew Wolfe remains more intent on moving to San Jose — after all, he is a real estate developer — than moving his team to the top, and the Giants, even in their failings, get more attention than the A’s in their modest success.

But it’s refreshing to see the A’s, who have won five straight, play well, even at the Giants’ expense. Back in early April, the thought was Oakland had enough pitching to win a division. Then came the injuries. Then came the defeats. Then came Bob Melvin.

Billy Beane, Mr. Moneyball, was apologetic when booting Bob Geren, his guy, during the season. But what is done is done, and it kept the A’s from being done.

What can be done about Los Gigantes becomes a serious question.

First, Tim Lincecum has to get the ball over the plate and maybe get into the eighth inning. From afar, he’s San Francisco’s spiritual leader. When he is out of sorts — a gentle way of saying he’s been awful by his standards — the thought is, “Now what?”

Timmy has been reliable, the stopper, the guy you believed would get the victory. Lately all he’s gotten is an early hook.

But regardless if Lincecum pitches like Lincecum — and most likely he will, sooner or later (Giant fans hope it’s sooner) — the hitting and run production are abysmal.

Three and a half months to go. If the Giants can’t hit a pitched ball, it’s going to be a long, long season.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.


Sleeping Giants

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3.44 Runs per game the Giants are averaging this season (second fewest in baseball)

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Giants vs. Twins

WHEN: Today, 7:15 p.m.
WHERE: AT&T Park
TV: CSNBA
RADIO: KNBR (680 AM)

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