October 23, 2002

Kent for goat?: World Series analysis

.... Analyze this The great William Carroll, who runs the awesome Under the Knife site, was wondering why Jeff Kent has so few runs batted in this postseason, an especially important issue considering the difficulties the Giants seem to be facing with the potent Anaheim Angels leading 2 games to 1. His point, and I agree, is that Kent is in line to be the un-informed and easy choice for World Series goat. He rightly suggests that Kent probably hasn't had that many opportunities to drive in runs, so I looked it up. Here's what the San Francisco Giants top six hitters have doen so far this postseason:

Clearly the biggest culprit for the Giants has been the only recently resucitated Reggie Sanders. Kent is going to take a lot of flak for just 2 runs batted in through 13 games, but Will hit the nail on the head, he really hasn't come to the plate with many opportunities to drive someone other than himself in. Then again, he's only had 13 hits, which helps explain his poor runs scored total as well as Bonds' huge number of walks. Overall, these numbers don't surprise me at all. They look just like they would from any two week stretch of the regular season, outside of the Kent slump, which actually began in September. He's had a great season overall, but really, he was only actively productive for about three months. He did almost nothing in March/April, and after hitting 14 home runs with 34 RBI in August, he fell off a bunch in September, dropping all the way to 4 home runs and 10 RBI. His lack of production in the postseason is perfectly in line with that drop. It's worth glancing at Kent's season to see what I'm talking about: April .261/.323/.432 4 HR May .259/.316/.407 3 HR June .414/.463/.667 6 HR July .379/.413/.670 6 HR Aug. .316/.381/.772 14 HR Sept. .232/.300/.394 4 HR I don't know about you, but when I see a player hit more home runs in one month than in any other two combined, as his batting average and on base percentage plummet, I'm thinking he started to develop some bad habits swinging for the fences, and in Kent's case, he looks like he hasn't been able to get his swing back on track. I've watched the postseason pretty closely, and that's what it's looked like. I'd say the stats bear this out. The reason this is such a big deal is simple. For the Giants to win this series, they will almost certainly have to out-hit the hottest team on the planet. That means that Kent, Sanders, I mean, really everyone on the team has to get on base inning after inning, otherwise the Giants are going to be over-run by the relentless Angels.

posted by John J Perricone to commentary at 07:21 PM - 0 comments

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