2016 San Francisco Giants
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2016 San Francisco Giants / Franchise: San Francisco Giants / BR Team Page
Clinched Wild Card: October 2, 2016, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Managed by Bruce Bochy
The 2016 San Francisco Giants opened the season with a bang on April 4th as they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 12-3. The Giants hit three consecutive home runs off reliever Ariel Pena in the 8th inning, with Denard Span, Joe Panik and Buster Posey going deep in order. It was the first time a team had hit three consecutive home runs on opening day since the 1997 San Diego Padres. For their part the Giants had not hit three consecutive homers since July 20, 2006 - four years before they began their practice of winning the World Series every even-numbered years. Span, an off-season acquisition, drove in five runs on the day, a first for a Giants player on Opening Day since Barry Bonds in 2002.
The Giants may not have been the favorites to finish first in the NL West when the season opened: the Los Angeles Dodgers were the popular choice, with some prognosticators thinking outside the box pinning their hopes on the revamped Arizona Diamondbacks. They fell briefly below .500 in mid-April after a good first week, but by the end of the month, they were in a tie for first as no team in the division was playing winning ball. The Giants then got red hot in mid-May. Starting with a walk-off, 13-inning 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on May 11th that evened their record at 18-18, they won 13 of 14 games to build a comfortable lead. Exactly a month later, on June 11th, a 5-4 walk-off win over the Dodgers started another big winning streak, this one including 12 wins in 14 games. On June 23rd, they had a six-game lead over the Dodgers and had the third-best record in the majors, behind only the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. They didn't stop there, as when the All-Star break began on July 11th, they were sitting on top of the major league standings with a record of 57-33. However, they began the second half in a terrible slump, losing 9 of their first 10 games after the break and suddenly there was a division race again. They were active at the trading deadline acquiring IF Eduardo Nunez and Ps Matt Moore and Will Smith and giving up some solid home-grown talent in return, including former number 1 pick Phil Bickford and Matt Duffy, who had done an excellent job as the starting third baseman in 2015 but had had the misfortune of suffering an Achilles heel injury in June.
On August 16th, alarm bells began to sound as the Giants lost possession of first place for the first time since May 10th. A 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates couple with a Dodgers win in Philly turned the trick, but more preoccupying was the fact that the Dodgers had managed to make up all that ground in one month in the absence of their ace, Clayton Kershaw and with a patched-together starting rotation. Things were so bad that on September 7th, their 16-31 record since the All-Star break was the worst of any major league team - including the hapless Minnesota Twins who were on a 2-17 run.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Buster Posey
- NL Gold Glove: Brandon Crawford (SS), Joe Panik (2B) and Buster Posey (C)
- 2022 San Francisco Giants Media Guide, pg. 519
- Gabe Lacques: "Giants' bullpen ends season only way it knows how — with spectacular meltdown", USA Today Sports, October 12, 2016. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Just one option for Giants in nightmare second half: 'We've got to wake up'", USA Today Sports, September 7, 2016. 
- Jorge L. Ortiz: "NL West a two-team race again as Giants, Dodgers load up at trade deadline", USA Today Sports, August 1, 2016.