On May 24, 2009, the Giants lost to the Seattle Mariners and fell to 20-23. After that they won four in a row and were never worse than .500 the rest of the way and finished 88-74. In 2008, the Giants lost their first game and were below .500 for the entire season. Since the advent of division play in 1969 (44 seasons not including this one) the Giants have had 19 below-.500 teams. The longest stretch of above-.500 seasons was 14, from 1958, the inaugural year in San Francisco (the 1957 NY Giants were a sub.500 team), to 1971, when they won the Western Division. The next longest was from 1997-2004 (8 seasons). The longest stretch of sub-.500 teams was four seasons, from 1974-1977 and again from 2005-2008. The best player on the 2005 Giants was Noah Lowry, the team's number one pick (#30 overall) in the 2001 draft. They drafted Matt Cain number one (#25 overall) the very next year. The Giants have also had two three-year sub-.500 stretches: 1983-1985 and 1994-1996. Throw in 1972, 1979, 1980, 1991, and 1992 and that's 19. Of course that means there's been 25 winning seasons since 1969 (and 36 since 1958).
The Giants are 3-1/2 games from first place and 3-1/2 games from last place. The defending champs are fighting it out with the most expensive team in baseball history for the bottom of the division. Raise your hand if you saw that coming.