Giants

Five Giants stats that stand out from first week of season

Giants
Ron Wotus Evan Longoria

The first week of the 2021 MLB season is in the books, and the Giants came away as a .500 team with a 3-3 record. 

Opening Day was throwback torture for Giants fans as a gut-wrenching loss to the Seattle Mariners made way too many crack a sad, late-night brew. The Giants dropped their three-game road series to the Mariners, a team that isn't expected to be a big contender this season. But then things took a positive turn at Petco Park. 

Facing the San Diego Padres this early in the season was a big test for Gabe Kapler's squad. While Fernando Tatis Jr. did go down with a shoulder injury in the first game of the series, the Giants have to be happy to left San Diego after taking two of three from the NL West's newest powerhouse. 

With the Giants being off Thursday, here are five stats that stood out from the first week of the season. 

Power Surge

A big question coming into the season was who would be the Giants' big power bat. Well, it's nice to have Buster Posey back. 

After sitting out the 2020 season, Posey homered in his first at-bat against the Mariners. He followed that up with another homer the next day. Posey certainly isn't alone, either. 

Evan Longoria carried his hot stick from spring training into the regular season and leads the Giants with three home runs. All in all, seven Giants have homered in the first six games. The Giants have hit 11 long balls as a team. 

 

That's the third-most in the majors entering Thursday, behind just the Cincinnati Reds (14) and Houston Astros (12). But it doesn't tell the whole story of the Giants' offense.

Slow Start At The Plate 

While the Giants have hit the third-most homers in the league, they have scored just 20 runs this season. That's tied for 21st in the majors. They're averaging only 3.3 runs per game. 

The Giants simply aren't putting the ball in play enough right now. We know today's game is all about the Three True Outcomes (home runs, walks and strikeouts), but the Giants' .201 team batting average is the fifth-worst in baseball and the worst in the NL West. 

Too many hitters are whiffing at the plate. The Giants have the seventh-most strikeouts in the big leagues with 65, which is the fourth-most among teams that have played six games. They also rank 22nd in walks with 18. 

Only three Giants -- Donovan Solano, Longoria and Posey -- are batting above .200 right now. 

Kevin Gausman, Giants Ace

So much for being a one-year wonder. Kevin Gausman looks like an ace through his first two starts. And not just the ace of the Giants. 

Gausman's first two starts of the season are his two longest as a Giant. He leads the major leagues in innings pitched with 13 2/3 after going 6 2/3 on Opening Day and then seven innings against the Padres on Wednesday. He also has allowed just two earned runs. 

How does he compare to the rest of baseball? His 0.66 WHIP is eighth in baseball, seventh among starters and second for those who have started two games. Opponents are batting just .130 off him, which is tied for eighth by starters and tied for second with Trevor Bauer for pitchers who have started two games. 

Gausman has struck out 11 batters, walked just three and only allowed three hits. But he's yet to win a game. Which brings us too ... 

More Bullpen Torture 

Giants starting pitchers have allowed only 10 earned runs over 34 2/3 innings. That's good for a 2.60 ERA. 

The bullpen hasn't been quite as good. Giants relievers also have allowed 10 earned runs, but in just 18 1/3 innings, which is good for a 4.92 ERA for the bullpen. 

Much of that is on Matt Wisler, whose Giants career can't get off to a much worse start. The veteran right-hander has a 32.40 ERA after allowing six earned runs in only 1 2/3 innings, yet he has appeared in four of the Giants' six games. 

The bright spot is Jake McGee. The former Los Angeles Dodger looks like a shut-down closer early on. McGee already has two saves in four appearances out of the bullpen. He hasn't even allowed a hit while striking out five batters in four innings. 

RELATED: Gausman pitches another gem, watches Giants win it in extras

Buster's Back 

When Posey homered in his first two games of the season, he did so on back-to-back days for the first time since May 2017. He also accomplished the feat after catching 10 innings on Opening Day. 

 

Kapler knows taking a year off from the game might wind up being the best thing possible for Posey. The 34-year-old is rested, healthy and has hip surgery well behind him at this point. He has appeared in four games and has four hits, two of which were solo shots. 

The Giants expect to only play Posey as a catcher. In the four games that he has caught, starting pitchers have allowed six earned runs in 22 1/3 innings pitched.

In the batter's box and sitting behind the plate, the Giants are better with Posey. That pretty much always has been true since he made became the starter in 2010, and that remains true in 2021.

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