Giants

Lucky number 13? Giants match multiple season highs in win

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The Giants tied several season highs in their 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

They took advantage of spacious Chase Field, tying a season high with five doubles. Their six-extra base hits fell one short of tying a season high, which was set the last time they had five two-baggers. The Giants totaled 13 hits, equaling the most they've had in a nine-inning game this season.

The same goes for their 13 strikeouts.

Ironically, 13 might be San Francisco's lucky number. After Saturday's victory, the Giants are now 3-0 this season when striking out at least 13 times. They're 4-1 when striking out 12-plus times, and 5-2 when doing so at least 11 times.

That can be viewed in a couple different ways. On one hand, the Giants tend to strike out a lot. On the other, those strikeout totals can be seen as a symptom of an altered -- and improved -- approach at the plate.

As they have shown throughout this abbreviated season, the Giants are a much-improved offensive team. They're averaging over 0.7 runs per game more than they did last season, and currently rank in the top half of MLB in almost every major offensive category, including runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks, team batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Whereas previous iterations of the team were dependent on pitching and defense to overcome consistently lackluster offensive production, the 2020 Giants clearly are going about things differently. Yes, bringing the fences in and closing the gates in right field at Oracle Park surely has helped, as have playing in hitters parks like Chase and Coors Field. But the Giants have had the benefits of those hitter-friendly environments for quite some time, and yet haven't been anywhere near as consistently potent on offense as they are right now.

 

As launch angle became an emphasis throughout the league, the Giants were a bit slow to catch on. But manager Gabe Kapler and hitting coaches Donnie Ecker and Justin Viele have brought San Francisco up to speed, and the change in philosophy at the plate is producing the desired results.

That change in philosophy is the cause; the improved offense -- and the increased strikeouts -- are the obvious effects.

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Ideally, the Giants would prefer to keep their strikeouts to a minimum, but they understand it's part of the trade-off they're committed to. They improved to 16-19 with Saturday's win and moved within 1.5 games of the final Wild Card spot.

Who knows, with more 13-strikeout games, they just might be able to pull it off.