What the Giants don't do well is get on base. The team's .303 OBP ranks them second to last, ahead of only the Seattle Mariners. It doesn't take a sabermetrician to see that this stat correlates to the Giants' aforementioned record-tying home run. The team's ability to get on base has gotten even worse since the All-Star break, with a team OBP of .283 over the last 25 games: That's last in the Majors.
For a team that struggles to hit home runs in the first place, the lack of home runs with runners on base isn't surprising. Nevertheless, we believe that any time a Major League record that has held up for 97 years is about to fall, it should be noted.
The Giants just finished up one of the year's worst homestands, winning just 3 out of 10. The Giants have ceded first place in the NL West to the surging Diamondbacks. When your not hitting or getting on base it puts that much more pressure on the pitching staff to allow 3 runs or less every game. While the Giants did put up more than 6 runs twice during the homestand (a feat they had not done all season before their 8-1 victory over the D-backs on August 3), their staff allowed 6 or more runs three times during the same stretch.
With Carlos Beltran's wrist injury still lingering, the Giants are going to have to start playing Patented Giants Baseball, where they squeak out just enough runs to win. The pitching has faltered lately and the offense has been stagnant. It's being reported that Beltran is coming back early next week but that he will miss the weekend series against the Marlins. Aubrey Huff will need to continue his second half turnaround, and I believe that Andres Torres -- despite his struggles -- needs to be planted at the top of the lineup. He's the only player that has the speed that this lineup is in desperate need of.
While the Giants are still going to be looking for their fifth starter (Jonathan Sanchez has struggled since his return from the DL), the question is will they go back to another round of Barry Zito or will they look to the minor leagues for a possible shot in the arm. We're looking at you, Eric Surkamp. The system's new top pitching prospect has been throwing great in Richmond, with a 2.03 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 128.1 innings.