SAN DIEGO -- Common sense dictates that the Giants won't roar back into postseason contention during the next three weeks, though their schedule during this stretch would represent a major opportunity to excel in most years.Having endured Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Padres, the Giants can look forward to enjoying
SAN DIEGO -- Common sense dictates that the Giants won't roar back into postseason contention during the next three weeks, though their schedule during this stretch would represent a major opportunity to excel in most years.
Having endured Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Padres, the Giants can look forward to enjoying home-field advantage -- and lots of it.
They'll begin a 10-game homestand, their longest of the season, when they confront the reigning American League champion Indians in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.
The calendar will remain lopsided in the Giants' favor through Aug. 9. From Monday through that date, they'll play 18 of 23 games at home. The quintet of road games includes a three-game series at Los Angeles (July 28-30) and two games at Oakland (July 31-Aug. 1).
Of course, the Giants' performance thus far suggests that they won't gain much of an edge by playing a preponderance of games at AT&T Park. They're 17-24 at home, on course to record only their fourth sub-.500 mark at the bayside ballpark since it opened in 2000. At that rate, they would finish 34-47 at home, an all-time worst. They went 37-44 in 2005 and 2008 and 39-42 in 2007.
With his Giants trailing the first-place Dodgers by 29 games in the National League West, manager Bruce Bochy tried to attach a sense of urgency to the glut of home games.
"It's going to be important that we play well at home," Bochy said. "Enough's enough. Our goal is to finish strong. And this homestand can start that."
Following the Cleveland series, the Giants will again confront the Padres, who have captured two games out of three in each of the three series they've played. That won't happen this time, since the teams are slated to play a four-game series.
The stretch of consecutive home games ends with a trio against Pittsburgh.
Despite the Giants' poor performance overall, they continue to believe that AT&T Park benefits them, particularly as long as they abide by the quaint notions of pitching and defense. Their 3.81 home ERA ranks fourth in the NL, and they've allowed 36 homers at AT&T Park, the least among any of the league's clubs at home.
"We want to play good baseball, especially at home in front of our fans," Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said.
Asked whether AT&T Park still favors the Giants, even in their current humble state, Crawford said, "We haven't really shown an advantage, I don't think, anywhere this year. But, yeah, we have probably the best ballpark in baseball to play at."
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.