The SF Giants' slow start is a trend that has spanned much of the Farhan Zaidi tenure

The SF Giants are off to a slow start with a 13-14 record.
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The 2024 season is supposed to represent the beginning of a long era of SF Giants teams competing and making the playoffs. However, their slow start has put a damper on the inflated expectations of this Giants roster.

The SF Giants' slow start is a trend that has spanned much of the Farhan Zaidi tenure

There are many variables as to why the Giants have started slowly. Blake Snell's early struggles and now trip to the injury list have been far from helpful. Plus, new hitters such as Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler adjusting to their new environments, and early season base running mistakes that may resolve as we delve further into the season are all possible explanations.

However, this is far from the first slow start the Giants have had in recent memory. They have a surprising habit of starting slowly.

2019 was the first year of Farhan Zaidi's presidency. The Giants had decided to hire the former Dodgers and Athletics executive during the 2018 offseason and he was given an aging and withering roster full of veterans on gaudy contracts that were now an albatross to the team.

Zaidi had hardly begun his rebuild by the time the season started. Bruce Bochy was still the manager but had declared that this would be his last in charge of the team by the bay. The Giants would go 1-3 in March and 11-15 in April on their way to a 77-85 record. A slow start that was followed up by winning records in June and July before the final collapse later in the season.

2020 was an awful year and few were concerned about baseball as the pandemic raged on. It was far from a typical year as it was announced that a 60-game season would be played almost exclusively behind closed doors.

The Zaidi rebuild had begun but the Giants still had several large contracts on their books such as Brandon Crawford, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija. Buster Posey would opt out before the season and the Giants would spend the entire year without their franchise catcher.

This would also be Gabe Kapler's first year as manager and the Giants would go 4-4 in July, the first month of the season. They would never truly figure it out in 2020 and would finish 29-31 missing the playoffs on the final day of the season. Yet another slow start, though, understandable given the circumstances.

2021 was the first full season following the pandemic and the Giants were distancing themselves from their big contracts veterans but were still deep in a rebuild. Or so we thought.

In Kapler's second year as manager and Zaidi's 3rd year at the helm of the front office, the Giants would win 107 games, the most in franchise history, and claim the N.L. West title from the Dodgers who won 106 games. They would eventually lose a hard-fought division series to those same Dodgers taking them the distance before falling in game five. This was a rare exception to the slow start rule as the Giants went 16-10 in April. That said, only July had a worse winning percentage.

In 2022 we were all riding high following one of the craziest 100+ win seasons in recent history and many of us were excited for round two. However, that was not to be the case. The Giants would falter early, middle, and late.

They would finish at exactly 81-81. A colossal letdown considering the success of the year prior. The Giants started very hot in April going 14-7. However, they would immediately hurtle back down to earth with a 13-14 May. It may not have been the first month of the season but it was quickly after and the Giants never recovered.

2023 would be the season of change. All of the veterans were gone except for Brandon Crawford and he would leave following the season to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals. Kapler was fired just before the end of the season and his coaching staff would be largely cleaned out.

The Giants would attempt to play competitive baseball again but would fall short once again. They would finish 79-83, missing the playoffs by a wide margin. They would go 0-1 in March and 11-15 in April before stringing together two consecutive winning months before the ultimate collapse.

There is a clear pattern shown since 2019 that the Giants typically falter in either the first month or the second. They would have .500 or below records in the first month in three of the five years, the first month was one of the worst monthly records of 2021, and 2022 would see them collapse in May. Does this pattern mean anything? Probably not. Am I concerned that this season won't be the 2021 exception? Terrified.