GAC Re: The first 12 games of 2012 were worse...
While what you say is true, concerning situational hitting, they still won the division last year... and it wasn't situational hitting, after being up 2-0 on the Giants, that caused their downfall in the play-offs last year.
It was pitching, timely and costly errors at very critical times (junctures), and yes, maybe, even a couple bad managerial decisions in key situations (debatable).
I could add baserunning to your list and say it all came into play without question. It would be stupid to state otherwise. It's just that adjusting your approach at the plate to maximize your AB to fit a situation is a pet peeve of mine (could you tell?) and I felt they did poor job of it while the Giants did it well.
As for winning the division, that is true. But with the squad that was fielded last year I just don't think it was enough. And to take it a step further, to lose the way they did, it downgrades it to "failure" in my book. I'm tough, what can I say?
But one of my "beefs" last year was a solid #4 hitter behind Votto. We were experimenting with numerous players last year trying to find that "guy". And it's the same this year too.
Right now, BP is doing a solid job there; but in his career, overall, bating #4, it's been kinda streaky, because that's the type of hitter he is. But we'll see.
Agree with all this