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What it will take for the Giants to avoid 100 losses

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Five wins out of 11 games. Doesn’t sound bad when you put it like that, right? Right?

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

I’m fond of mentioning the 2008 Giants around here. It’s my scarecrow, a bogeyman to remind you youngsters of just how bad teams can get. Jose Castillo started at third base. The Giants decided they didn’t need a proper backup for their 41-year-old shortstop, which means they were caught off guard when Brian Bocock was the Opening Day starter. They employed Eugenio Velez, Emmanuel Burriss, and Ivan Ochoa, and the team hit even fewer home runs than this year’s team, with just 94. Their cleanup hitter had 16 homers and a .322 on-base percentage.

The 2008 Giants didn’t lose 100 games, though.

In fact, the 2017 Giants have already lost more games than them, with 11 left to play.

The 2017 Giants are already the worst team I’ve ever covered. The worst team since 1985. And they still have time to be worse.

The Giants need seven more losses to reach 100, and they have 11 to play, which means they’ll need to go 5-6 or better to avoid 100 losses. The problem with this is that they’re playing two kinds of teams for the remainder of the season: Teams that are going to the postseason, and the Padres, who mysteriously dominate them. Another way to put it is that the Giants are 23-42 against the opponents left on their schedule.

That’s right: They’re even worse against the Rockies, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Padres than they’ve been in general this year. They have a .354 winning percentage against those four teams, which is worse than their .384 winning percentage overall. This means that their only chance is to be better against these teams. They can’t be just as lousy as they have been. They have to improve.

Let’s look at the records it would take to avoid 100 losses, then. How realistic are they?

11-0

I’m not convinced this is realistic.

10-1

I’m not convinced this is realistic, either.

9-2

This would need to include three sweeps of the above listed teams. The Giants have swept two series all year.

8-3

Not unthinkable. They went 8-3 for different stretches in May, but it took their biggest winning streak of the year to get it.

7-4

That would look something like this:

vs. Colorado (W)
vs. Colorado (L)

@ Los Angeles (W)
@ Los Angeles (W)
@ Los Angeles (L)

@ Arizona (W)
@ Arizona (W)
@ Arizona (L)

vs. San Diego (W)
vs. San Diego (W)
vs. San Diego (L)

That is, the Giants would have to go the rest of the season without losing a series. So.

6-5

Take that above schedule and flip one of the series wins into a series loss, and it’s still possible. Let’s say the Giants win one of their games against the Rockies. In that scenario, they would either need to sweep one of the remaining three teams, or they would need to win two out of their next three series to get this record.

Again, that’s if they split the Rockies series.

5-6

The most realistic option, of course. A 5-6 stretch looks like this:

vs. Colorado (W)
vs. Colorado (W)

@ Los Angeles (W)
@ Los Angeles (L)
@ Los Angeles (L)

@ Arizona (W)
@ Arizona (L)
@ Arizona (L)

vs. San Diego (W)
vs. San Diego (L)
vs. San Diego (L)

They need to win one series. That’s it. If they sweep the Rockies, they need just one win in each of the next three series. If they split with the Rockies, they need one series win out of the next three. If they’re swept by the Rockies, welp, they’ll need to win at least two out of the final three series.

TL;DR? The Giants have four series left. They have to win at least one of them to avoid 100 losses. The last time they won a series was a month ago. They haven’t won any of their last seven series. So it will be a challenge. Winning baseball games usually is a challenge for teams that can’t win, now that you mention it.

One series win. That’s what it will take. I’m all for this new pretend World Series. Just win one series, you dorks, and you avoid the painful stigma that comes with 100 losses. It shouldn’t be that hard.

And yet ...