It’s been a long time since that’s been true
The 2019 season is not quite over for the Giants, but it’s getting there. With just 10 games left this year, the team is 74-79, at the bottom of the meh range, but not any worse than that. But the way they’ve gotten there is a little unusual: they are 41-37 on the road, but just 33-42 at home.
If they lose out on the road, the Giants will still finish with a winning road record of 41-40. If they win out at home, they’ll still finish with a losing home record of 39-42. So no matter what happens, the Giants will end the year with a road record that’s over .500 and a home record that’s under .500.
That seemed unusual, so I did some research. I wanted to find out the last time the Giants had a winning road record (recently, I assumed), the last time they had a road record better than their home record, and the last time they had a road record over .500 when they were below .500 at home.
The last time the Giants had a winning record on the road was 2016. Remember the 2016 Giants? Sure you do!
You probably remember 2016 for the Giants being an overall pretty good team, and certainly not for the horrific collapse in slow motion that happened right after the All-Star Break that defined the team for the next two seasons, or the bullpen being wholly unable to hold a ninth inning lead, or the horrific collapse in slow motion that came when the bullpen was wholly unable to hold a ninth inning lead in Game 4 of the Division Series. Nope, no scars at all from 2016.
Anyway, in 2016, Giants went 45-36 at home, and 42-39 on the road.
The last time the Giants had a better record on the road than at home was 2005. Remember 2005? You might!
Before the 2005 season started, the Giants were hit with the news that Barry Bonds, the centerpiece of the offense (and you don’t really need “centerpiece of the” in that sentence), would be out for several months. The team was never able to recover from that blow, especially after Jason Christiansen picked a fight with Bonds in the clubhouse midyear, setting Bonds’s rehab back. After Bonds came back in early September, the team was able to rally for a brief September run at contention, more made possible by an incredibly weak division than any on-field success the Giants were having, but it was far too little, far too late, and 2005 was the first of four consecutive under .500 years for the Giants.
Also, 2005 was the first year of McCovey Chronicles. Nice one, 2005!
Anyway, in 2005 the Giants were 37-44 at home and 38-43 on the road. As a franchise, they’ve been better on the road than at home about once a decade, so it’s not too surprising when it happens, even if it’s still not actually common.
The last time the Giants finished under .500 at home and over .500 on the road was 1948. Remember the 1948 Giants? No you don’t, you reprobate liar.
Led by first baseman Johnny Mize and third baseman Sid Gordon, the ‘48 New York Giants went 78-76, playing competent-to-good baseball against every member of the National League except the Cardinals, who won 15 of their 22 matchups that year. Midseason, the Giants replaced manager Mel Ott with then-Dodgers manager Leo Durocher and got a little better, but not nearly good enough, as they finished in fifth pace in the NL, 13.5 games back of the Boston Braves.
Anyway, in 1948, the Giants went 37-40 at home, and 41-36 on the road. The only other time the team had a losing record at home and a winning one on the road was 1940, when they went 33-43 at the Polo Grounds and 39-37 not at the Polo Grounds.
It’s an exceptionally rare thing for the Giants to be a losing team at home and a winning one on the road, rare enough that the last time it happened was closer in time to the Hayes Administration than the current day. So if you’ve gone to a lot of home games that haven’t gone especially well this year, don’t be unhappy that you’ve seen your favorite team play badly. Be happy: you’re seeing Giants history! Crappy, crappy Giants history.