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The Giants' first 10 games, a history

A look at the history of Giants slow starts might tell us what we want to believe.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 2015 Giants have won three of their first 10 games. If they were a baseball player, they would be hitting .300, and you would think they were especially skilled. Because they are a collection of baseball players, being successful 30 percent of the time isn't enough to satisfy you. And why do they call them "apartments" when they're all stuck together? Boy, I'll tell you ...

Is this a unique start to the season? Is this historically wretched? How many times have the Giants started the season like fools, only to do good things in the season? These are questions we must ask ourselves because the alternative is writing about Casey McGehee returning or something, which sounds as exciting as a phone book audiobook to me.

First up, the fancy graph. Ready for the big leagues,!


Click that to enlarge it if you're into that sort of thing. 1983 was the worst start in San Francisco Giants history, and 2003 was the best start. Along the way, there have been ups and downs, but it's worth pointing out that the Giants historically win about 55 percent of the time in their first 10 games. This is only the ninth time in 58 years the Giants have won three games or fewer.

Ah, but what's happened in those seasons with the lousy starts? You thought you were impressed with the graph, but you weren't prepared for a TABLE:

Year Wins in first 10 Final record
1967 3 91-71
1980 3 75-86
1983 2 79-83
1985 3 62-100
1990 3 85-77
2000 3 97-65
2007 3 71-91
2009 3 88-74

Four seasons over .500, and four seasons under .500. The Giants finished with their worst record in franchise history after starting 3-7. They've finished with the best record in baseball (2000) after starting 3-7.

Let's assume the Giants need 88 wins or more to make the postseason. That's how many they had last year, which is much fewer than the Dodgers had in the regular season, but for some reason the Giants were allowed to win the World Series, which is weird, but anyway. Eighty-eight wins or bust. How have the Giants fared in the first 10 games in those 88-win-or-more seasons?

Year Total season wins Wins in first 10
1962 103 7
1963 88 7
1964 90 7
1965 95 4
1966 93 7
1967 91 3
1969 90 5
1971 90 8
1973 88 7
1978 89 6
1987 90 8
1989 92 7
1993 103 6
1997 90 7
1998 89 6
2000 97 3
2001 90 7
2002 95 8
2003 100 9
2004 91 5
2009 88 3
2012 94 4
2014 88 6

Obviously, it's better to start with seven, eight, or nine wins. Those wins don't go away, and they protect against dunderheaded stretches later in the year. In 18 of the Giants' 23 seasons of 89 wins or more, they won at least half of their first 10 games.

But 3-7 isn't a death sentence. A lineup of Justin Maxwell, Hector Sanchez, and Joaquin Arias might be if the Giants have to keep messing with it, but the 2012 team was almost as bad at the start of the season, and they ended up being fine.


Hey, how did that get in there! Must have a virus. It's been a rugged first 10 games. It doesn't have to be a rugged final 152, even if it's slightly more likely to be now.