Illustration by Gemma Fa-Kaji
After the San Francisco Giants’ disastrous 2017 season, fans of the orange and black have been looking for a comeback season this year. Despite having nearly the same roster as the previous year, the Giants’ record didn’t even come close to their 2016 season. Finishing the season with a painful 64-98 record, they came in last in the National League and had their worst record in 32 years. After this disappointing turn of events for San Francisco, it was evident that changes needed to be made, and that the team needed an injection of new talent.
Coming into the offseason, the Giants were eager to present the attractive city of San Francisco and historically strong team to the load of outgoing free agents. In particular, the Giants targeted Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Evan Longoria, and the young and captivating Shohei Ohtani from Japan. After missing out on Stanton and Ohtani, the Giants were still able to sign Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria, two all-star players. Not only do these players fill holes in last year’s roster, but they also bring some familiar and exciting faces to an already talented team.
Kicking off the season with a four-game series against SF’s rival: the Dodgers, the Giants looked strong. They tied the series 2-2 and although it may not sound especially triumphant, any win over LA is impressive, considering they were last year’s runners-up.
After slow starts for both of the new Giants players, it seems that Andrew McCutchen has finally gotten his year rolling with a massive six-hit game. McCutchen batted 6-7, capping it off with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the fourteenth inning.
While McCutchen appears to have picked up the pace on the offensive end, Evan Longoria continues to struggle with a meager .204 batting average, well below his impressive career average of .269. Even though Longoria has started off slow, baseball is a sport with many slumps and high notes throughout seasons and careers. Even the best players endure slumps, and there is no reason to think that Longoria’s slow start to San Francisco life is a cause for worry.
After a decent start, the Giants have fallen off the pace recently, sitting at fourth in their division with a 6-10 record. While the playoffs currently seem like a long shot, there are still 146 games left to play. Giants fans can be forgiven for dreaming big given their illustrious history.
And, if you haven’t checked your phone or a calendar recently, it’s 2018! Some critics will call it luck, some will call it coincidence, but the Giants have had an uncanny ability to win the World Series championship on ‘even’ years.