In lieu of last night’s horrific performance against the Dodgers, I decided to profile the worst Giants performances under Bruce Bochy, year-by-year. Things I considered when making these determinations:
-Score: Was the game close? Did the Giants lose by double digits? Did they fail to score a run?
-Rivalries. Losses to the Dodgers are worse than losses to the Blue Jays. They just are.
-Standings. Where were the Giants in the division at the time of this loss?
-Streaks. Did this game end a winning streak? Start a losing streak?
-Gut-wrench factor. Did this game make you wish you liked soccer?
-Ephemera. Did someone just get injured? Did someone the Giants payed a billion dollars to stink?
Date: May 18
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Location: McAfee Coliseum
Giants’ Record: 20-21, 4 ½ games back
Recap: Barry Zito issues 4 walks in the first inning, 2 of which were with the bases loaded. One was to Jack Cust. I repeat. Barry Zito could not get Jack Cust to chase. Jonathan Sanchez appears in relief, gives up a home run to Jack Cust. That’s more like it Giants. Steve Kline gives up a grand slam to Mark Ellis in the 8th. A’s add one more, cruise to a 15-3 victory.
Why this is the worst game of the season: The Giants paid a lot of money for Barry Zito the previous offseason. Money the A’s themselves were unwilling to pay. Or any other team for that matter. So to come throw a Bay Bridge Series stink bomb in his first season as a Giant is, well, Zitonian. Also Fred Lewis hit third. And had an OPS over 1.000 at this point. He is now in the Looking Good While Running Hallf of Fame.
Date: April 18
Location: Busch Stadium III
Giants’ Record: 6-11, 6 ½ games back, 3 game losing streak
Recap: One of Matt Cain’s worst starts as a Giant. Never getting out of the 4th inning, Cain gave up 9 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks. Gave up big flies to Chris Duncan and Albert Pujols.
Why this is the worst game of the season: Epitomized the Matt Cain Conundrum. How can someone so good at their job be rewarded so little by end results? For example, Matt Cain would finish the 2008 season with a solid 3.65 ERA. He went 7-16. Here’s why. The Giants lineup on that fateful day: Fred Lewis LF, Eugenio Velez 2B, Randy Winn RF, Bengie Molina C, John Bowker 1B, Aaron Rowand CF, Jose Castillo 3B, Brian Bocock SS. Probably the bottoming out of the Giants batting order. To this day, Matt Cain still has All-Star abilities and a sub-.500 career record. He didn’t help his cause much in this game, but it’s not like Jose Castillo was any help either.
Date: August 27
Location: AT&T Park
Giants’ Record: 69-59, 7 games back
Recap: Joe Martinez got worked. He gave up ten hits and never saw the sixth inning. Brandon Allen homered along with Mark Reynolds, whose home run chased Martinez in the fifth. The Giants bats remained quiet, with 5 hits and only one for extra bases, a double by Travis Ishikawa.
Why this is the worst game of the season: The Giants faced Yusmeiro Petit and the basement-dwelling Arizona Diamondbacks in a critical part of the season. The division-leading Dodgers were creeping out of reach but the Wild Card-which eventually went to the Rockies- was still very much in doubt. In his career, Yusmeiro Petit pitched about as many major league innings as Matt Cain pitches in a season. He dominated a Giants lineup that saw Travis Ishikawa hitting cleanup. Ishi ranks slightly below Mike Fontenot in the Giants-Who-Shouldn’t-Have-Hit-Cleanup Power Rankings. Also adding to the retroactive pain of this game is the fact that many of the Dbacks- Justin Upton, Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra, Miguel Montero, Stephen Drew- would be the building blocks for their 2011 NL West title. Eff those guys.
Date: May 19
Location: Chase Field
Giants’ Record: 22-17, 1 ½ games back
Recap: Ian Kennedy gave the Giants a preview of his eventual 2011 dominance by going eight innings and only allowing three hits. Todd Wellemeyer, on the other hand, walked five Dbacks and exited after just five innings. Brandon Medders saw the worst of the carnage, giving up two home runs in the 8th and six earned runs total.
Why this is the worst game of the season: It’s hard to complain about a game in a season where the Giants were eventual champions. But I’ll give it the old college try. It’s not like these were the World Champion Giants any way. Seven players that appeared in this game would not make the World Series roster: Wellemeyer, Medders, Denny Bautista, Bengie Molina, Ryan Rohlinger, Matt Downs, and John Bowker. This is a testament to Brian Sabean’s mid-season transactions and a heaping helping of good fortune. Sometimes the scorched-earth policy works out. See? I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t complain about a title. I’m glad the Dbacks won this game.
Date: September 24
Location: Chase Field
Giants’ Record: 84-74, 8 games back
Recap: Ian Kennedy again. He only went six innings and gave up two runs, but it was more than enough to get the win. Rookie Erik Surkamp didn’t survive the first inning. Three hits and four walks that led to six earned runs was all Bruce Bochy could handle. Guillermo Mota went all long relief on everyone’s ass for 3 1/3 scoreless, but the rest of the bullpen got worked. Zito, Waldis Joaquin, Steve Edlefsen, and Dan Runzler combined to give up nine more runs, all of them earned. And yes, Barry Zito. In the bullpen.
Why this is the worst game of the season: Barry Zito. In the bullpen. The win gave Ian Kennedy 21 on the season, which is more than Matt Cain had in a few of his good seasons. Combined. Coming into the game, the Giants were not making the playoffs. The Diamondbacks weren’t going to lose the division. But kicking them in the teeth in the last few weeks of the season sure would be fun. Guess we’ll never know.
Date: Last night
Location: Chavez Revine
Giants’ Record: 14-15, 5 games back
Why this was the worst game of the season: Because I hate Matt Kemp
There may be another game that outdoes last night for worst game of the season, prompting the masses to call for an update to this article. No. It hurt my head.