Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Giants Luck in One Run Games has Run Out

A lot of the talk early this year revolved around the Giants and being lucky in one run games. The punditry said that this was just luck and that it was unsustainable. Now that some time has passed, what is the result?

First, let's take a quick look around the league. Since all the talk about the Giants wizardry in close games, they have actually been surpassed by several teams in terms of winning percentage in that category in recent months. The Phillies lead the league with a .666 winning percentage in one run games (not too much talk about them being just lucky), the Brewers are second with a .634 winning percentage, and the Diamondbacks have passed the Giants with a winning percentage of .628.

The Giants are no longer special with their .622 winning percentage in one run games, but they do still have the most wins in this situation. What exactly has happened since they were first noticed for their good fortune in close games?

Well, what has happened is pretty much exactly what the people who said they were lucky said would happen. Their stretch of winning 80% of close games has turned into them playing just .500 ball in one run games since their winning percentage high point on May 22nd.

Here is a plot of their record in one run games relative to .500 for this season:

Early in the season, everything went their way and they lost just three one-run games on their way to taking a solid grip on first place despite scoring roughly the same amount of runs as what they had allowed. Since late May, the Giants have not been as fortunate and the plot reflects that with a lot more ups and downs.

With the bad luck the Giants have fallen out of first place and are falling behind the surging Diamondbacks. The team still has the make up that they will play a lot more close games with a below average offense and a great pitching staff that will make games low scoring and close. The question is, will the good luck come back or will the injury depleted team run out of magic?

The last seven weeks will give us our answer and will probably determine if this Giants team makes the playoffs again.

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