In the eighth inning of Sunday’s ballgame, as the Giants were in the middle of getting swept at home by the Mets, who have been allergic to winning and good fortune this year, fans started booing Josh Osich*.
Except the fans weren’t really booing the left-handed reliever on the mound. They were booing it all. The events on the field. The loss of a Sunday afternoon. The broken promises. The ashes of burned expectations. The miserable future, unspeakably bare in the shadow of the recent past. They were booing the Giants as a concept, not a specific pitcher.
Because the Giants right now are a cataclysmic failure on a level that we haven’t seen for 100 years. And they were supposed to be good.
Suppose that first claim needs a qualifier. The Giants are 27-51. They haven’t started a season that poorly since 1902. They aren’t just losing; they’re getting blown out. They have the worst run differential through 78 games since the 1902 Giants.
For perspective, the youngest members of the 1902 Giants were all born before the Giants were invented. This was a long, long time ago. Their pictures looked like this:
The last time the Giants were this bad, a 21-year-old’s picture looked like this. Now it looks like this:
The differences are striking. That’s how long it’s been since the Giants have been this bad. We’ve gone from the top one to the bottom.
The Giants have lost 12 out of 13 games, and it took a cavalcade of dumb errors for them to win that 13th game. The last time the Giants lost 12 out of 13 games, they were a dead team walking, on their way to Tampa. The only things those teams had in common is that they both made Brandon Crawford cry.
Back when Jeremy Affeldt was with the Royals, the fans booed when he was on the mound. They weren’t booing Affeldt, specifically. They were booing it all. And when he left to continue his career elsewhere, he learned from different coaches and organizations, and he emerged as the solid, reliable reliever that Giants fans enjoyed for years.
The fans weren’t booing Affeldt. They were booing the idea that the Royals couldn’t take someone as talented as Affeldt and make him into a good baseball player in time for the game they paid to attend. Remember this when Osich is thriving with the Braves one day.
It’s come to the part where Giants fans are booing.
The vibe in the stadium is weirdly good given that they keep making terrible mistakes.— David Roth (@david_j_roth) June 25, 2017
That lasted about 20 minutes, and then the Giants allowed more runs. Their ERA is over 6.00 in June. They can’t hit, and they can’t pitch. Boos are starting. They’ll keep getting louder. This isn’t what was promised. This isn’t what was expected. This is a mess. This is an absolute mess.
The only thing that’s keeping me calm is that I didn’t watch seven of these last 12 losses. I think this is funny. Turns out, and I can’t stress this enough, I’m actually laughing.
The only thing I ask is for the interesting young players to not get hurt. Austin Slater left the game with a tight right hip flexor, and that’s the kind of thing that will make me mad about the 2017 Giants. When I’m watching a game, it’s basically just me killing time between Austin Slater at-bats. That’s an oversimplification — I enjoy the Posey at-bats, and when Belt doesn’t screw up, and a fine Brandon Crawford play, and, say, is that Kyle Crick and Ryder Jones, and — but it’s roughly the truth. What’s making me sit up in my chair right now is an Austin Slater at-bat.
So screw you, hip flexor. Stop being that way. I’ve made peace with this team being abominable, and I can stumble into 2018 this way. Just give me the next 80 games to figure out who’s good and who’s not**, without the cloud of injuries.
The 2017 Giants are bad. They’re historically bad. They’re five games behind the Padres, who started the season with a rotation of Jered Weaver, Scuntly Fernst, Arbor Darlor, Jeff Suppan, and Umbadlo Jimenez, Not Umbaldo Jimenez, and a payroll that was sending more money to players who weren’t on the roster than players on it.
The Giants, in other words, are sub-replacement. The Padres were almost literally a replacement-level team this year, by design, and the Giants are out-replacementing them.
They were just swept by the Mets, at home, and the Mets have been one of the most miserable stories of the season.
Not this miserable, though.
Not this miserable.
Barry Bonds was in the radio booth for this game! Let’s watch this home run and take a deep breath:
* Unless they were booking Steven Okert. Please don’t correct me, it doesn’t matter.
** Matt Moore