The Giants exceeded expectations in their first year under new manager Gabe Kapler, though they fell one win shy of a spot in the expanded playoff field after going 29-31 to seal their fourth consecutive losing season. The pandemic-shortened regular season called for constant resilience from the Giants, who managed to stay in contention until the final day of the regular season despite playing without star catcher Buster Posey, who elected to sit out the 2020 campaign after he and his wife adopted twin baby girls who were born prematurely in July. New leaders soon emerged to help fill the void, however, with Mike Yastrzemski blossoming into a National League MVP candidate in his sophomore season in the Majors and Donovan Solano capturing his first career NL Silver Slugger Award at second base. Veterans Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford enjoyed resurgent years, while Wilmer Flores finished as the team's leader in home runs (12) after joining the club on a two-year, $6 million deal. The Giants also got a glimpse at their promising future when top prospect Joey Bart made his highly anticipated debut in August, though he endured growing pains after making the jump from the alternate training site to the Majors. The Giants' rotation struggled with injuries after losing Tyler Beede to Tommy John surgery and Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) and Drew Smyly (finger) to extended stints on the injured list, but newcomer Kevin Gausman emerged as the staff's most dominant arm after signing a one-year, $9 million deal. His strong performance helped him land a hefty raise, as he later accepted a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer to return to anchor the Giants' rotation in 2021.
The Giants reached historic heights in manager Gabe Kapler’s second season at the helm, winning a franchise-record 107 wins en route to capturing their first National League West title since 2012. The Giants outlasted the 106-win Dodgers and clinched the division on the final day of the regular season, but they ended up falling to their archrivals in five games in the NL Division Series, which marked the first playoff clash between the two storied franchises.
Kapler earned NL Manager of the Year honors after steering the Giants back to the postseason for the first time since 2016 and getting the most out of a club that was viewed as an afterthought entering the season. San Francisco led the NL with a franchise-record 241 home runs and set a single-season Major League record with 18 pinch-hit homers in 2021 .
After sitting out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Buster Posey returned to deliver his seventh career All-Star campaign before surprisingly announcing his retirement at the end of the year. Posey, 34, walked away at the top of his game, as he capped his decorated 12-year run with the Giants by capturing his second NL Comeback Player of the Year Award and fifth Silver Slugger Award. 2
Shortstop Brandon Crawford also enjoyed a resurgent season for the Giants, placing fourth in NL MVP voting while adding a third All-Star nod and fourth Gold Glove Award to his resume. Kevin Gausman placed sixth in NL Cy Young voting after logging a career-best 2.81 ERA over 33 starts and racking up 227 strikeouts over 192 innings.