The Giants pitched and hit well enough to be 4-0.
They defended well enough to be 1-3.
That really is what the series against the Dodgers boiled down to. The Dodgers caught the ball when they had to and the Giants didn't.
Even a World Series championship hasn't kept Giants fans from being fatalists. If you peruse Twitter and take a look at some of the blogs you would probably be convinced that this is going to be the downfall of the 2011 Giants. Now, this could very well be the case, but I don't think it's going to make a huge impact on the team over the long run.
The reason why I don't think that it's going to be such a huge impact on the season is that the bad defense isn't characteristic of the Giants. Over the last 2 seasons, they have been pretty good defensively. The lapses by Pablo Sandoval (despite what fans think) and Buster Posey are uncharacteristic of their play normally. Miguel Tejada has also been a capable defender of the course of his career.
The only real defensive liability the Giants have right now is Huff in right field. The game on Sunday put that liability on display for a national audience. The problem is that the only solution to that situation would be to put Huff back at first. But then what do you do with Belt? Put him in right? I'm not sure if Belt is any better in right than Huff but the idea doesn't appeal to me.
Offensively there are a few concerns. Tejada has been terrible and his AB with 2 outs and the bases loaded was the picture of getting yourself out by being too aggressive. Pat Burrell has two homers but other than that he is 0 for 12. Also, despite his big homer in the second game of the season, Belt hasn't done too much offensively. Really, other than Freddy Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval, the offense hasn't been too impressive statistically.
Despite all of this, the Giants scored 18 runs in four games. Which breaks down to about 4.5 runs per game. As long as they are putting up 4.5 runs a game I guess you can't complain too much. (although if you take the 10 run game out of the equation, they have scored 8 runs in 3 games for an average of 2.6 RPG)
So what does it all mean?
At this point, it doesn't mean a whole lot. Does anybody really think the Padres are going to continue their success of the first 3 games? Or Kansas City? Or Baltimore? Sure, it's frustrating to a lot of the experts because they "predicted" these struggles but the so called "Giants" experts are the same guys who said the Giants would never win anything with Bochy and Sabean at the helm.
The Giants could stumble this season, there is no doubt about that. But this is largely the same team that won it all last season, so they deserve some benefit of the doubt. They had some stretches last season where they were terrible and the pitching has been good so far this season, other than one bad inning by Runzler which was directly related to poor defense(although that didn't show up in the box score).
So, ask me in a week or two if I am worried.