SAN FRANCISCO–If the Giants were in playoff contention, they would look at the final two weeks of their season as an unfortunate bit of scheduling.
Over the next 17 days, San Francisco will play 11 of its final 14 games against teams in position to make the playoffs, with six coming against Arizona, three against Los Angeles, and a pair against Colorado.
The three games San Francisco won’t play against a squad with playoff potential come during the season’s final weekend, when the Giants play a San Diego team that’s already earned five series victories against them this year.
The Giants, though, aren’t in playoff contention, and as you know, they never were this year.
Instead of jockeying for a division crown or a wildcard berth, the Giants will spend the final portion of the season attempting to avoid the embarrassment of finishing the season with 100 losses. To avoid hitting the century mark, San Francisco needs to finish 6-8, and on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said his club is determined to close out the year on a high note.
“We really would like to avoid losing 100 games,” Bochy said. “If we went 6-8, that’s not a good way to finish the season. Nobody wants to lose 100 games. We all have pride. We’ll be doing anything we can do, all we can do, to finish this thing on a good note and not let that happen. We’ll be playing some very good teams, some contending teams, so we’re going to have to play our best ball. That’s what’s going to have to happen for that not to happen.”
Bochy has reshuffled his rotation, moving Ty Blach to the bullpen and keeping Chris Stratton as a member of the five-man group of starters he’ll finish up the season relying on. He’s also pledged to play rookie Ryder Jones more, and wants Buster Posey to play more first base while Nick Hundley gets more at-bats behind the plate. All of these moves suggest Bochy hasn’t given up on winning, even if his club will have a hard time securing victories.
The Giants’ general manager, Bobby Evans, appeared on KNBR on Thursday afternoon with Kevin Frandsen and John Lund and offered a different viewpoint of San Francisco’s struggles. Evans said the Giants don’t want to lose 100 games, but now that the team has secured a losing season, it’s already a considerable disappointment.
“I think a losing season; we just can’t have that,” Evans said. “It’s all equally bad. Whether its 82 losses or 100 losses, it’s still the same message.”
Evans did say that he hopes the Giants are able to avoid a 100-loss season, but in reality, he can’t stand losing 60 games in a year.
“We don’t want to lose 100 games, we really don’t like to lose more than 60 games, but we have to figure out how to get ourselves better,” Evans said.
Both Bochy and Evans are obviously disappointed with the way the Giants have played this year, but they expressed their opinions about the possibility of a 100-loss season in different ways. While they would probably acknowledge they’re trying to say the same thing, Bochy appears determined to manage to avoid 100 losses while Evans isn’t concerned about the final number of defeats as much as he is with the inevitable work it will take to rebound.