In the storied history of the Giants franchise, it’s rare that they’ve been around .500 at this point in the season. Usually, they’re either up a bunch or down a bunch, so this is one of the few times where the fans have been dragged through painful uncertainty.
By my count, there have been 7 times over the past 77 years when they’ve had a .500ish record around the 108 game mark: 1991 (54-55), 1987, 1982 (54-55 and 55-55 in both seasons), 1981 (54-53), 1975, 1960, 1952, 1948.
It was 1941, though, that we strike the “magic” number: 54-54. Those New York Giants finished the year 74-79. There were a lot of rain outs and schedule changes back in those days, and the season was just 154 games long.
Mel Ott, Babe Young, and Dick Bartell were their three top hitters and Hal Schumacher, Cliff Melton, and Carl Hubbell led the pitching staff and the team was managed by Bill Terry. There are a few Hall of Famers in that bunch, and even they occasionally took a bath in mediocrity.
The 1941 team fell to 54-54 with a 6-2 loss on August 17th against Si Johnson and the Philadelphia Phillies at Shibe Park. Johnson gave up 14 hits in a complete game (4 doubles, 10 singles) but the Giants only scored 2 runs. Some. Things. Never. Change.
What the New York Giants did in 1941 has absolutely no bearing on what the 2018 team does in San Francisco, but I bring it up to point out the obvious: the Giants have played two-thirds of their season.
A great saying that’s attributable to one of the worse humans to ever live (Tommy Lasorda) goes something along the lines of every baseball team will win 54 and lose 54, but it’s what they do with the other 54 that determines the season. Everything we’ve seen of these Giants and everything that’s happened on the injury front strongly suggests that these final 54 won’t be much different from the previous 54s, but if hope wasn’t a thing, then there wouldn’t be sports fans.