Giant’s year-long swoon now has the post-All Star break in San Diego as bookends

July 11, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

AP573505789543

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JULY 08: San Francisco Giants Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) throws a pitch during the Major League Baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

By Morris Phillips

The disappointing baseball being played by the Giants in 2017, actually commenced in 2016, in San Diego against the Padres immediately after the All-star break.

The Giants open the second half–on Thursday in San Diego–again under far different circumstances.

Same Giants’ team visiting the same opponent a year apart with now a full season of baseball games in between. The equation isn’t a pretty one, as the Giants have gone 64-98 after starting 2016 with a MLB-best 57-33 record that disappeared as quickly as it materialized.

Last year, the Giants traveled to San Diego with a nine-game win streak against the Padres, and promptly lost four straight to their division rivals, each loss in the most frustrating manner possible. It marked the first time that the team’s top three starters–Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija–had lost consecutively as teammates. Needless to say, that convergenge of poor luck has happened again since.

In the last 162 games, Cueto has gone 11-11, after starting his Giants’ career 13-1. Bumgarner opened 2016 with a 10-4 record, in the 162 games since, He’s 5-9 in 19 starts, and hasn’t thrown more than eight innings in any of the 19. Bumgarner also landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career following his April dirt biking incident and shoulder injury.

And Samardzija opened 2016 with a 9-5 record. In the 32 starts since, he’s 7-16, and has pitched more than seven innings in a start just three times.

In losing nearly 100 games, a lot more than the failings of the Giants’ top three starters has transpired. The offense has often disappeared, the bullpen has been faulty, starting with the struggles of Santiago Casilla last season, and Derek Law this season. And the left field position has been a revolving door with Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson, Michael Morse and Gorkys Hernandez among the candidates to struggle. Most recently, rookie Austin Slater made the most of his 29 games left, hitting .290 only to see his season derailed by hip and groin injuries.

But the struggles no doubt begin with Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija, who were an impressive 32-10 as a trio before last season’s break. Since then? The three are a combined 23-36.

 

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