The Giants stand at 5-20 (.200) in the month of September following yesterday’s shove by the Dodgers, and even if they somehow win today, a 6-20 mark will still mean that we’re watching the worst month in the history of Giants baseball, New York or San Francisco.
After their 0-5 start three weeks ago, I looked at the San Francisco era to see what had been the absolute worst records in the month of September.
1. 1980: 7-19
Here’s a September to remember. The Giants were 66-64, 8.0 games out of the division lead and clearly long shots to make some noise, but certainly not to have an above-.500 season, having gone 60-50 since a 6-14 April. But that’s just what happened, and the team utterly collapsed to finish 75-86. This ignominious month included a -37 run different (outscored 73-110). They were also trounced in five October gams, 31-14 (2-3 record).
The 2018 squad ended August at 68-68, 6.5 games out of the division lead and clearly long shots to make some noise, but certainly not to have an above-.500 season.
After yesterday’s game, I went back and searched through the entire franchise record not just for bad Septembers in New York but for any bad months in New York and San Francisco.
I wound up constraining the results to months that had at least 20 games in them. This eliminated a good chunk of the pre-20th century months (though not all of them) and strike-shortened seasons. Also, I’m not going to give you the full list of months with fewer than 10 wins and just tell you how close the Giants have come to winning just 20% of their games in a month.
[Although, brief side note: the 1951 Giants played only 15 games in April and went 3-12 (.200). They went 95-47 the rest of the way and Willie Mays debuted on May 25th.]
Now, yes, there’s a very, very, extremely slim chance the Giants could win today’s game, in which case they’d end September 6-20. That’s still a winning percentage of .231. This article can be taken one of two ways: 1) that as of this moment, the Giants are experiencing their worst month in franchise history or 2) it can be tweaked to mean “if the Giants lose today, they will have clinched the worst record in any month for their franchise history.”
That’s because there are two months in the history of the Giants that could potentially be worse than September 2018 simply by the value of winning percentage.
The Giants went 5-18 (.217) in July 1899 and 5-17 (.227) in June 1902. If the Giants pull off an upset today, then they will have avoided the worst month in franchise history by mere percentage points. However, it will be the first time the Giants have won just six games in a month where they’ve also lost 20. They’ve gone 7-20 twice in franchise history (July 1901 and June 1974), and 8-20 or 8-21 thrice in the team’s 135 years of existence.
[One final side note side note: the 1953 New York Giants went 10-25 in August. They played eight doubleheaders that month; the team finished 70-84, but not strictly because of all those doubleheaders.]
So, mathematically, a win today does save the 2018 Giants from infamy; but, come on, we all know they’ve been historically awful to end the year. Even if they win, they’ve never gone 6-20 before! Let’s embrace the suck and congratulate ourselves for being such committed fans that we’re witnessing history.