Giants announce smallest home crowd in nearly nine years amid perfect storm

Giants announce smallest home crowd in nearly nine years amid perfect storm

SAN FRANCISCO -- After two-plus years of struggles, the Giants are starting to see huge changes in the seats at Oracle Park. 

The announced attendance for Monday night's game against the Padres, the fourth home game of the year, was just 28,625. That was the ballpark's first crowd under 30,000 since May 27, 2010 -- two days before the organization called up a top prospect named Buster Posey. 

"You hate to see it, but it's going to be up to us to play good baseball and get them back here and start winning games," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's nothing we can control other than that, make some noise and create some excitement here."

The decline has been gradual as the franchise has taken a downturn on the field. A sellout streak that started late in that 2010 season ended at a National League-record 530 games in July of 2017, but the attendance never got lower than 37,797 that season, even as the Giants lost 98 games. Last year, the attendance regularly dipped below that, with a low of 35,041 on April 11. 

The Giants could always count on a large season ticket base, but last month they announced that they had gone from about 30,000 season ticket holders to 26,000. Still, some around the team were surprised Saturday when the Giants drew just 31,828 for the first weekend home game of the year. Two days later, the number dropped a bit further.

[WATCH: Kevin Pillar hits grand slam]

It was a bit of a perfect storm Monday, as the Giants played the Padres -- who don't draw well on the road -- in misty weather, with the NCAA championship game going on. But the announced attendance isn't actually about people in the seats. It accounts for purchased tickets, and this was the lowest number in nearly a decade

The Giants didn't exactly give those in attendance a reason to return right away. They blew a 5-0 lead and lost 6-5 to the Padres, falling to 3-8 on the season.

Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss


Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a different look on Wednesday afternoon, and for three innings it was a pretty spunky one.

Bruce Bochy went with lefties -- mostly not the familiar ones -- atop the lineup and the Giants had some success against tough right-handed pitcher German Marquez, who nearly no-hit them earlier this year. It wasn't enough to overcome a grand slam given up by Jeff Samardzija, but as Bochy desperately searches for solutions at Oracle Park, perhaps he has stumbled onto something. 

Brandon Belt hit leadoff and the plan is for that to continue for a few more games, at least. Mike Yastrzemski hit second and scored in the first before doubling while leading off the fifth. Pablo Sandoval had an RBI double and solo homer while hitting third. Alex Dickerson had an RBI double in the two-run first and later drew a walk. Stephen Vogt, batting fifth, had hits in his first two at-bats. 

This is not at all what the Giants planned. Belt hit leadoff one time in his career before Tuesday. Yastrzemski and Vogt started the season in Triple-A and Dickerson was with the Padres. Sandoval, who has turned into Bochy's most dangerous hitter, ended a nervous spring thinking he would get mostly pinch-hit at-bats. 

But for about an hour there Wednesday, the lineup looked somewhat dangerous and worked Marquez hard. Bochy said he could take a look at that lefty-hitting group again depending on the matchups. 

"We had some great at-bats," he said. "We hit a lot of balls hard. I thought it was one of our better days offensively even though we only scored three runs."

The Giants will wait and see what they have in Yastrzemski and Dickerson, and while Vogt has seen more time of late, he won't be supplanting Buster Posey. Belt is the one with easily the tightest hold on a starting job, but Sandoval may not be far behind now given his play. He has started 13 games in June and isn't slowing down. The homer tied him with Kevin Pillar for the team lead at 10, and the double left the bat at 114.7 mph, a season-high for the Giants. The OPS is back above .900. 

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"He's got his rhythm and timing right now," Bochy said. "He's seeing the ball well and it's jumping off the bat."

Sandoval will continue to see time near the top of the order. Given where the team is, the rest of the guys who made up the upper half Wednesday probably should, too. 

Giants vs. Rockies lineups: Alex Dickerson hits cleanup in series finale

Giants vs. Rockies lineups: Alex Dickerson hits cleanup in series finale

Jeff Samardzija already shut down the Rockies at Oracle Park once this season, and he'll look to duplicate that Wednesday afternoon.

The Giants will hand the ball to the right-hander in the series finale against the Rockies, Colorado will counter with German Marquez.

After dropping the first game of the series, the Giants bounced back with a 4-2 win Tuesday night behind Madison Bumgarner's 11-strikeout performance. 

Bruce Bochy's lineup will feature Brandon Belt back at the top, with the red-hot Alex Dickerson batting cleanup behind Pablo Sandoval.

Here are the full lineups for Wednesday's Giants-Rockies game at Oracle Park.

First pitch for Rockies-Giants is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. PT, with pregame coverage beginning at 11:30 a.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco (34-44)
Brandon Belt, 1B
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Alex Dickerson, LF
Stephen Vogt, C
Kevin Pillar, CF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Joe Panik, 2B
Jeff Samardzija, RHP (4-6, 4.23 ERA)

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Colorado Rockies (41-38)
Charlie Blackmon, RF
David Dahl, CF
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Raimel Tapia, LF
Ryan McMahon, 2B
Tony Wolters, C
Garrett Hampson, SS
German Marquez, RHP (7-3, 4.32 ERA)