The Giants have not fared well against the Red Sox throughout history. It hasn’t quite been a Globetrotters-Generals situation. More like an “Oakland A’s versus the playoffs” scenario. It has probably been for the best that both wound up retreating to separate corners of the country to live through their respective bouts of misery and franchise curses. Too much of that bad energy would’ve really made the eastern seaboard an insufferable place.
I don’t know if there’s an actual, determined rivalry here — the Giants have been the opposite of competitive — but it’s hard to ignore an undercurrent of dislike coming from Boston. Who knows what it is. Maybe it’s that Boston sees itself as the East Coast San Francisco and doesn’t like the idea that there’s a prettier city with happier people in it modeled after all their blood, sweat and tears.
Or maybe the Red Sox identify more with Oakland and, so, despise everything about the wine and cheese white collar-types. In any case, there’s something going on here.
Anyway, in the history of the matchup, the Red Sox have managed to embarrass the Giants often, especially in Boston, though not exclusively. All five of the Giants’ wins in the interleague era of the matchup (since 2004) have come in San Francisco, but 2004 was the only year they won a series. Overall, they’re 5-11 against the Red Sox over the past 15 years.
1912 World Series
That’s a picture of Smoky Joe Wood, the Red Sox’ best pitcher in 1912. He went 34-5 with a 1.91 ERA in 344 innings. He started game one of the 1912 World Series against a rookie — Jeff Tesreau — because John McGraw wanted to save Christy Mathewson to combat Boston’s home field advantage at Fenway Park.
Yeah, the era of Mathewson, McGraw, spitballs, and no night games. That’s as far back as Boston’s dominance in the series stretches. The Red Sox won this best of eight series 4-3 because that game two at Fenway ended in a 6-6 tie, called due to darkness. More modern games should be called for darkness. You know, like, emotional darkness.
This was a weird series in that there really wasn’t a homefield advantage. The Red Sox won it because they managed to win two of their five home games (remember: that tie!) and they even managed to win it despite being outscored by the Giants in the series, 31-25.
It’s hard to say that Boston vaporized the Giants here, especially when the Giants would turn up in the 1913 World Series (and lose again to complete the 1911-1913 Losing the World Series trilogy), but the Red Sox had no trouble with Christy Mathewson, who went 0-2 in three complete games (remember that tie!) and had -0.49 win probability added for the series. Getting to a Hall of Famer like that setup how unimpressed Boston has always been in the face of the Giants.
The Giants didn’t have to travel to Fenway Park in 2004, so 2007 marked their first trip there since 1912. It, uh, didn’t go well. The Red Sox outscored them 20-7 in three games (a sweep, obviously), with the middle game being a 1-0 shutout thanks to rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Barry Bonds just missed a home run in game one of the series and the Red Sox turned that near miss into a route. There was nothing fun about this series.
2010 & 2013
The Giants went 2-4 against the Red Sox at AT&T Park and were outscored 34-12. Boston mowed through Lincecum, Bumgarner, and Zito.
This four game series was split two and two — two in SF and two in Boston. The Giants’ part of the series involved two close games (a 5-3 loss and 2-1 win), the latter of which was won because of Mac Williamson’s first major league home run.
In the Boston half of the series, five Red Sox combined for a 5-hit shutout in game one. They really took it to Jake Peavy and Jarrett Parker made a really impressive baserunning blunder.
Game two is probably the one that still stings a bit, not only because it’s the most recent game, but also because it was comprehensive.
Hanley Ramirez hit three home runs in a game for the first time in his career and Boston looked positively unbothered by Matt Cain on their way to an 11-7 victory. The Giants got close, but then the Boston lineup overwhelmed the Giants’ bullpen.
Quietly, this might’ve been an important game in the history of the Giants franchise. The 2016 trade deadline is the one that Bobby Evans regrets not having traded for Mark Melancon, which led to him giving Melancon all the money that offseason. Who knows if a bullpen fix might’ve gotten them past the Cubs in the first round. It might not have staved off the team’s current state, but it might’ve changed the course of recent history.
Everything the Giants have felt good about has been exposed against the Red Sox. You are right to worry about Logan Webb. Tyler Rogers might see some depth charges. There will be a DH.
Then again, the Giants have Mike Yastrzemski on the team. Will it be like wearing glasses? The Red Sox wouldn’t hit hard a team with a Yastrzemski on it, would they?