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The Giants and the under-.500 mark

Victor Decolongon

It is June 26, the Giants have played 77 games, and they are under .500. This is the latest in the season they've been under .500 since 2008. All is lost, all is lost.

Except … wait, is all lost? The Giants play in a pretty weak division, apparently, as they're still closer to a playoff spot than the Nationals or Rays. They're as close to the top of their division as are the Reds. Apparently the NL West is kind of a mess, everybody.

So apropos of nothing, it's about time to look at every playoff season since the Giants moved to San Francisco, and look for the latest date each of those teams was under .500. Here goes:

2012: Game 37 (May 16)
2010: N/A
2003: N/A
2002: N/A
2000: Game 61 (June 13)
1998: Game 29 (May 2)
1997: Game 1 (April 1)
1989: Game 29 (May 5)
1987: Game 109 (August 7)
1971: N/A
1962: N/A

Of course, it feels disingenuous to include 1998 (not really the playoffs, but I'll allow it) without including any other teams from the '60s. Wasn't their fault they didn't have the Wild Card. The Giants would have had four titles in San Francisco, dagnabbit.

But with that out of the way, hellllllooooo, 1987. You're a site for sore arms. Arms which are sore from grasping at straws. Because … oh, forget it. The point is that the Giants have been in a worse spot, against tougher odds, and still made the playoffs. What that has to do with 2013 is simple. You know, it's … the thing about '87 and '13 is … WAIT WHAT'S THAT


Whooo. Where were we? Right, how the Giants are totally going to make the playoffs this year because Will Clark is in uniform with them. Though that's not really what I'm getting at. Just that I'm not sure we know the identity of this team yet. They could be a 90-loss mess by the end of the year, or they could turn it around and win 90 games, just like the '87 Giants. Or they could be a .500 team. Or they could be just above or below! I don't usually get into the sabermetrics like this, but I figured it was called for.

The odds are that the Giants aren't good enough to make the playoffs. That's not just hyperbole -- them's the actual odds. But remembering '87 (and the confusing start to '00) made me feel just a little better, even if there's no logical reason for that.