I hear Crow tastes ever so slightly better when it's lightly fried in olive oil with some garlic, green onions and mushrooms.
Ah, nevermind -- Crow tastes like chicken anyway.
After reeling off seven straight wins and vaulting themselves right back into the NL West chase on the strength of Barry Bonds Bombs and some superb starting pitching, it's pretty easy to just slap the fat and ride the wave in...
...hm, let me opt for a more PC analogy.
It's easy to get caught up in the wins, and easy to think that the starters are indeed this good and Bonds can indeed keep this pace up to an NL West title after that many wins in a row. But more the fools us, if we believe it will keep up like this.
Not that the Giants can't make a run at the title -- when a team wins seven in a row with pitching like this, they're capable of making a run here and there, and I'm still not convinced there is a good team in the NL West. But the offense is still a problem, a problem that, for now, Barry is hiding behind his bat.
The Giants have outscored their opponents during this run 30-17, which calculates out to 4.3-2.4 in terms of runs scored/game vs. runs against/game.
The cold, hard truths are these -- no team in this era will win with any consistency at 4.3 runs per game. Period. And no team in this era will go through a season allowing anywhere near as low as 2.4 runs per game.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays scored the fewest runs in all of baseball last year at a 4.25 runs/game clip, and had MLB's worst record. The Padres had the worst runs per game average of any winning team last season at 4.5/game. The Astros also had a winning record with a 4.53/game average...but they were all of two games over .500.
Let's look at the Padres pitching -- at only 4.2 runs per game allowed, they were by far the least amount of runs allowed per game, the next closest being the Astros at 4.44/game.
Can we just agree that the Padres are an anomaly mostly because of their ballpark?
Meanwhile, the Giants last year scored 'em at 4.6/game, and allowed them at 4.87/game. This year overall that ratio is 3.63/3.58.
Does that make any sense, really? That the Giants can do better than last season while taking a one run per game hit from their offense because, coincidentally, their pitching staff happens to allow 1.3 less runs per game? A pitching staff that, I'll remind you, has added Barry Zito and Russ Ortiz, and that's pretty much it.
Nah, it doesn't compute -- the Giants are running a sample-size run right now, because their offense is still poor but their pitching has been spectacular. We'll all obviously enjoy the run for as long as it lasts (especially when beating the Dodgers is any part of it), but expecting it to last...well, you'd be giving your money right back to the casino.
The offense (or, more aptly, Bonds) still needs significant help if this team expects to stay in contention, because the pitching staff cannot keep this up. Sooner or later they'll drop just a bit...let's say, at least to the 4.2 runs allowed/game mark, at which point scoring 3.63 runs a game will see the Giants lose quite a few games. Well, being honest, we have to swing things the other way a bit, and assume the Giants will score more than 3.63 runs/game eventually...oh, wait, they're doing that right now, at that scintillating 4.3 runs/game clip.
Is that where you'd want your team to be at? Trying to win every day with an offense that scores it at 4.3/game with a pitching staff that allows 4.2/game? That sounds a lot like asking for a .500 record to me, and I think we can all agree that despite my thoughts that the NL West still isn't any good, the team that wins the division will have better than a .500 record. So, again, the offense still needs significant help.
But for now, for my predictions of Doom and Gloom being so poorly timed, I shall sit down and have myself a nice helping of Crow. Shaken, not stirred.