Earlier today, Buster Olney tweeted this interesting tidbit:
ELIAS: The Giants have gone 16 consecutive home games without a home run, the longest streak by the franchise since 1918.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 11, 2012
On May 14th, Gregor Blanco hit a solo shot off of Christian Friedrich. Nearly a month has passed, and the Giants have yet to hit another home run at home. It has not only historic from a team standpoint — as their current drought is an SF-era franchise record, but it’s very close to tying a modern MLB record. Since 1961, only two teams — the ’83 Indians and the ’76 Royals — have had longer home run droughts at their respective home ballparks. The Giants are just one homerless game away from joining them.
At home, no team has fewer home runs than the San Francisco Giants; no team is even close. The Giants have six, five of which have been solo homers. For reference, here’s the entire list:
That’s it. The next worst are the Padres and Mariners, who are tied at 14 — which is still more than twice as many as the Giants have. There are 26 players with more home runs at their respective home ballparks than the entire San Francisco Giants team. Giancarlo Stanton, who has had all of 14 plate appearances in San Francisco this season, is tied with Pablo Sandoval for the major-league lead in “home runs at AT&T Park.”
Obviously, the home runs (or lack thereof) have been a problem. The Giants rank 29th in all of baseball at 35 home runs. (The Padres — also owners of the worst record in the majors, have the fewest in all of baseball, with 34). Additionally, San Francisco’s isolated power (ISO) of .120 puts them dead-last in the majors.
This offense was never going to mash, but the power production has still been surprisingly bad. Brandon Belt and Aubrey Huff, the two of whom have combined for one home run in 212 plate appearances, have been the main culprits. An improvement from those two, paired with the return of Pablo Sandoval, should be enough to change the Giants’ home run woes from “hilariously bad” to just plain “bad.” And while I don’t anticipate a dramatic improvement in this category, that probably won’t stop the Giants from remaining in contention this season. Even with the lack of homers, the Giants have managed an 89 wRC+ on the season; mediocre as it is, that’s a significant improvement over last season (83). (It’s also worth noting that the Dodgers, at a major-league best 39 wins, rank 28th in home runs.)
In the meantime, the Giants will face off against Bud Norris at AT&T Park tomorrow. We’ll see if they can avoid tying that record.