The past 10 years of Giants Baseball has been boom or bust. Wonderful seasons paired with diaper trash. Through 100 games this season, they’re 51-49, a significant improvement from last season’s 38-62 record at the same point. Their playoff odds stand at 15.1% as of this morning, which isn’t great.
We know all about the moves the Dodgers made and we know the Diamondbacks aren’t going anywhere and that the Rockies will do whatever it takes to bludgeon the Giants when it counts the most, but does it means these final 62 games are a pointless exercise for the Giants to play or for us to even watch?
Nah. It’s important that we watch baseball no matter what, because the alternative involves the news, and, like, chores. For the Giants, they’re contractually obligated to show up, and they’ve had enough flashes of life that it’s easy to understand why they’d want to at least try to win and see what happens. But, again, these final 62 games pose a challenge: over the past decade, the Giants have had a winning record only 4 times.
Final 62 game record (2008-2017)
You could phrase this in a couple of ways — the Giants haven’t had a winning record in their final 62 games in 4 years... 4 of the last 5 seasons have seen the Giants post a losing record over their final 62 games... they’ve been mostly bad since the second half of the 2016 season; even when they had historically great pitching in 2011 and Carlos Beltran in the lineup (for some of that), they still couldn’t muster a winning record.
Right now, they seem to be mired in another “pitching is fine, can’t hit at all” run, and that’s usually been where they’ve fallen apart. If we try to project out the rest of the schedule (always a dumb thing to do), it doesn’t get anymore promising. They’ve been a .500 team for the season. If we figure they just split that record and go 31-31, then they’ll end the season at 82-80, which is a significant improvement over last season and virtually guarantees they’ll be the only “winning” team to not make the playoffs.
August will feature a home series against the Astros and road games at the Mets and at Cincinnati, terrible places to play in the late summer. They’ll also face the Manny Machado-led Dodgers. First up, though, are the A’s, who’ll be led by the tough lefty Sean Manaea. Today’s not a “must win”, but it’s also not not a “must win”.