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Vote for the bleakest Giants moment of 2014

When were you most convinced this just wasn't the Giants' year?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another installment of the revamped SB Nation MLB Awards. You can find the first installment here, in which we searched for the funniest moments of the Giants' 2014 season. Not including the obvious trolling in October, which would be the clear winner.

This installment is supposed to be about the most regrettable moment. There are 29 blogs for which this is not a problem category. True Blue LA, for example, can write about Clayton Kershaw's loss in Game 4 of the NLDS or the decision to start him on short rest or the hanging breaking ball he threw to Matt Adams or the general meltdown he had in Game 1 after the Dodgers had a win expectancy close to 99 percent or ... I mean, it's a vast, rich topic for them to cover.

It's a problem around here, though. The most regrettable moment? That I wasn't actively mooning Tommy Lasorda when Pablo Sandoval caught the final out, I guess. That will always haunt me.

So I'm going to disqualify McCovey Chronicles from the award and nominate the Bleakest Moments of 2014 instead. These are the times when you were sure the Giants weren't going to win the World Series in 2014, just sure of it. Not only were they not going to win, but they were going to fail for the next several seasons. The jig was up, folks.

For example, I typed this sentence on August 12:

The Giants are as close to the Dodgers as the Padres are to the Giants.

It was true! So true. They were doomed. Here are the contenders for the lowest point of the season:

Royals sweep

Quote from the post-sweep recap:

This is the unspoken horror of the miserable, post-May team. The Giants have looked completely overmatched against teams that are clearly better than them, reinforcing our darkest fears: this team isn't good and isn't really close. Considering the daily wild card updates somehow don't leave us feeling helpless, we have to search for the source of the helpless feeling. This is it. The Giants can't beat good teams. The Giants can't avoid being humiliated against good teams. In those eight series (against contending teams), they've been outscored 103-57. For every run the Giants have scored against a good team, they've allowed two.

Oh, the ironing. I watched all three games against the Royals in August. It was a fantastically dismal display of baseball. After sweeping the Mets in early June, the Giants were absolutely adept at playing some of the worst baseball we'll ever hope to watch. They couldn't pitch to the Royals, and they couldn't hit against them. They were thoroughly outclassed. I was convinced after this game that the Giants weren't going to win one of the two wild card spots.

Dodgers sweep

Quote from the post-sweep recap:

Except buckle the hell up, because I'm going to look for fun facts. I spent 10 hours feeling bad about this series while it was happening. Now that it's over, I want fun facts. I want hope. I want unfounded optimism. I want nonsensical logic and leaps of faith. Here goes nothing ...

The last two times the Dodgers swept a series in AT&T: 2010 & 2012

This isn't to point at past success after a dismal three-game series, hoping that memories of whatever happened way back then will make you feel better about the carnage you just sat through. There's nothing more annoying than a wounded fan yelling "COUNT THA RINGZZZ" right after a team-wide implosion.

However, it's a good way to point out that July failures don't always portend season-wide doom.

Look at that Pollyanna. He's just adorable. And correct! Every other year, the Dodgers come to town and sweep the Giants at AT&T Park. The Giants have won the World Series in each of those seasons. In this series, the Dodgers knocked the Giants out of first place, just over a month after the Giants had a 10-game lead. It felt bad, man. Baseball felt really bad.

Rockies sweep

Quote from the post-sweep recap:

There are all sorts of roads the Giants can take. Right now, it feels like alcohol poisonings and Hallmark fires are unavoidable. I still count July 4, 2010 as one of my lowest points as a Giants fan. Eli Whiteside pinch-ran for Buster Posey, the Giants lost to the Rockies in extra innings, and there was no way they were ever going to do anything good while Bruce Bochy was the manager. Yet I can laugh at that story now. It was just a plot point in an unbelievable-yet-charming rom-com.

A charming rom-com trilogy! Oh, Matt Cain is in heaven.

I remember fighting the urge to overreact to this series because the Giants still had a great record and they were still leading the NL West by 58 games, give or take, but it felt like squishy doom. The Giants blew three winnable games against one of the worst road teams in baseball history, with the bullpen completely imploding in each game. It had to be an omen. There was no way it couldn't be an omen.

The Rockies were 21-60 on the road in 2014. Three of those road wins came consecutively against the Giants, after falling behind in every game.


Source: FanGraphs

A three-game stretch like that is amazing if, like, the Nationals do it against the Astros. But that was one of the worst road teams in baseball history against the eventual World Champions. One of those games was decided by an inside-the-park home run, almost a year after the Giants hit a walk-off inside-the-park home run against the same team.

That series was proof that the Giants were never going to win the World Series again. You couldn't make a big deal of it because they were still well ahead in the division, but ... you kind of knew.

Padres sweep

Quote from the post-sweep recap:

When I was working for the llama boss, he ordered a jar of glitter from Office Depot. He poured it into a fan that I kept on my desk and trailed an extension cord around the perimeter of my office. When I got into work the next morning, my co-worker sat in the chair in front of my desk, grinning like an absolute fool. He plugged the extension cord in. I was covered with glitter for the rest of the day. No matter how hard I tried to brush the excess glitter off, I was still sparkly.

That's what the Padres did to the Giants, except they sprinkled, I don't know, flecks of bone or dead skin into the fan. Possibly raw chunks of durian. Either way, the result is the same: Ha ha, got me. Well played. There's no sense even getting mad. Just wear whatever was sprayed on you, laugh at yourself, and resolve to be more vigilant in the future.

This one is a little different, in that the Giants were almost certainly going to make the playoffs. This sweep cost them the division, though. Well, that sweep and two months of exceptionally poor play. Still, I remember thinking how unprepared the Giants were for the playoffs, how completely outmatched they were going to be in every round they were lucky enough to reach.

And, then, the funniest thing happened. See, then the postseason started, and ...

The time they signed Dan Uggla

The biggest WELP since Jeff Francoeur, the Giants signed a player who couldn't hit or field in the most desperate move I've seen the franchise make.

Remember all of the people who mentioned "Pat Burrell" and were serious? That was great.

The time they played Dan Uggla

He was oh-for-San-Francisco, if you can believe it. He had two errors as a Giant in 25 opportunities, and no hits in 11 at-bats. Who could have predicted that? Also, MLB got the Vine I made (Uggla's only run as a Giant, set to Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You) erased. Or maybe it was Sarah's people. Either way, it's a shame. I loved that Vine.

The Giants were so desperate for help at second base, they signed Dan Uggla and played him on purpose.

Gregor Blanco's error and Juan Perez's kick

A surprise contender for the ultimate cynic. The Blanco error made me nervous. The Perez boot made me realize the Giants were going to lose the World Series. There was no way Gordon wasn't going to score. I've seen inside-the-parkers with fewer screw-ups than that. And after Gordon scored, the Royals were going to single-bunt-single in the 15th and win one of the most memorable World Series finishes in baseball history.

On the other hand, Madison Bumgarner was still pitching and he was good for another six, seven innings.


The Giants lost 10-0 in Game 6. There was no Spiezio moment. There was just the thud you get when the body hits the floor. That game was the "now you have that Drowning Pool song stuck in your head" of baseball games. It's not like the Royals were starting prime Pedro Martinez the next night, but there was very little hope to be found. Maybe Madison Bumgarner could throw an inning or two ...

It all worked out, everyone. It all worked out. I have no idea how. I know why (trolling), but I still don't know how. There were so many times this season when I was prepared to give up on this stupid team. It turned out to be one of the best seasons we'll ever watch.

Now I feel bad for calling them stupid so much.