SAN FRANCISCO -- Among the jarring trends that have developed as the Giants lurch through the season is their struggle to compete against their National League West brethren, which continued with Sunday's 5-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.The Padres captured three of four games in this series at AT&T
SAN FRANCISCO -- Among the jarring trends that have developed as the Giants lurch through the season is their struggle to compete against their National League West brethren, which continued with Sunday's 5-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.
The Padres captured three of four games in this series at AT&T Park and lead the season series against the Giants, 9-4. San Francisco owns a 17-27 record against the West, including a 4-10 mark against Colorado and 3-4 against Arizona.
The Giants are 6-4 against first-place Los Angeles, which might say something about the meaning of historic rivalries. Then again, the teams play nine more games against each other, giving the Dodgers ample opportunities to surpass the Giants in the season series.
The Giants' woes within the West hardly qualify as news during a year in which every aspect of the game has challenged them at one time or another. However, this element is worth noting, if only because San Francisco hasn't posted a losing record against the West since 2007. Even in 2008, when the Giants finished 72-90 in the first year of the post-Barry Bonds era, they stayed competitive against West clubs with a 36-36 mark.
"We haven't played the way we should. It doesn't matter whether it's West, Central, East, American League, National League," second baseman Joe Panik said.
Though the Giants have remained long on shortcomings this season, their starting pitching has been particularly flawed against West clubs. Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore, Jeff Samardzija, Player Page for Matt Cain and Ty Blach have recorded a 5.14 ERA against the West, compared to 4.89 against other opponents.
That difference isn't glaring, but it can be considered significant, especially since San Francisco has averaged 4.02 runs per game in West play, compared to 3.82 in all other games.
At least Blach lasted seven innings in this series finale, sparing more wear and tear on a bullpen that worked 12 2/3 innings on Friday and Saturday.
The Giants reached the 100-game mark with a 38-62 record, their worst since they were 37-63 at the same juncture in 1956, two years before the franchise moved to San Francisco. That club compiled an encouraging 30-24 record through the rest of the season, providing a worthy example for this year's group.
As Panik said, all the Giants can do is "just play hard for each other and for the fans. We can't take back the first 100 games."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.