Commentary

Giants overcome punchless offense

Thanks to a great record in one-run games, San Francisco is defying the odds

Updated: June 27, 2011, 12:58 PM ET
By Jonah Keri | FanGraphs
Brian WilsonAnthony Gruppuso/US PresswireThe fine work of closer Brian Wilson (2.50 ERA) is a big reason the Giants have thrived in close games.

The San Francisco Giants have a chance to accomplish a rare feat.

No, not repeat as World Series champions -- how rare can that be, considering even the Chicago Cubs once pulled it off? If their current pace holds, the Giants would become just the seventh team in major league history to make the playoffs while scoring fewer runs than they allowed.

Sunday night's 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians upped the Giants' record to 44-34, giving them a one-game lead over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks. They're on pace to win 90 games despite scoring four fewer runs than they've allowed -- 265 for, 269 against.


To read how the Giants continue to win despite a feeble offense, become an ESPN Insider today.

Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) is a staff writer for Grantland. His book, The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First, is a national best seller. His new book Up, Up, and Away, on the history of the Montreal Expos, is now available for preorder.