There are a lot of trends that irk me about the SF Giants but there is one, in particular, that has grown especially tiresome. The poor bullpen, struggling defense, and poor situational hitting bother me when it happens. However, that is not it. It is how they have performed in recent years against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One SF Giants multi-year trend that has grown extremely tiresome
The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is one of the best in sports but it has been a one-sided rivalry lately. After yet another series defeat to the division rivals, it is fair to question how much of a rivalry there even is today.
When I first started watching baseball, the rivalry was fun and entertaining. It was fun to dislike anyone who put on a Dodgers uniform including Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, and Gary Sheffield. They might be the nicest people ever, but because they played for the Dodgers, I was trained to dislike them.
The Dodgers still have plenty of unlikeable players on the roster such as Max Muncy and Justin Turner. Despite my disdain for Los Angeles, I cannot bring myself to have even the slightest level of hate for Clayton Kershaw. He is incredible and one of the best we have ever seen. I suppose I dislike how often he faces the Giants. It seems that he is penciled in there every time the Giants face off against the Dodgers.
With all that being said, it just has not been much of a rivalry recently. The Dodgers have been on a historic pace in recent years including putting together a 106-win season in 2021. At 94-42, the Dodgers looked poised to surpass that mark with ease this year.
It is fair to say that just about every team has struggled against the Dodgers. However, it is different for Giants fans because of the history of bad blood between the organizations and how often they face off against one another each year. Though, that last detail will change modestly next season as they only play 13 games against them in 2023.
Below is the Giants' win-loss record against each year against the Dodgers since 2017:
2022: 4 - 12
2021: 10 - 9
2020: 4 - 6
2019: 7 -12
2018: 9 - 10
2017: 8 - 11
The Giants have recorded a .411 winning percentage against the Dodgers in 102 games since the start of 2017. That number might seem surprisingly high given how poorly they have performed against the division rivals this season. Granted, these past six seasons have included some lean years as well.
So, where do the Giants go from here? It is tough to compete with a team that has been accumulating talent for years while seemingly finding ways to replace great players with even better players. Yet again, the Giants appear at the crossroads as an organization.
Team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has signaled a willingness to be more aggressive in free agency this offseason and they will have plenty of financial flexibility to do that. The Giants will not be able to close the gap in one offseason, but they seemingly only have a few players who they can pencil into next season's roster.
San Francisco has to find a way to buck this trend soon. It is not just how they have performed against the Dodgers, but rather it is a microcosm of their struggles as a whole. Plus, it is difficult to ignore how Dodgers fans invade Oracle Park during Giants-Dodgers games. Those fans have exciting players to watch, and the Giants have a short list of intriguing players to see.