LOS ANGELES — The San Francisco Giants are a proud National League franchise with a history that dates back to 1883. Only once have the Giants lost 100 games in a season (1985). They have finished a season with a winning percentage of less than .400 only five times.
Those marks are being challenged by the 2017 team, so meeting up with the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers, their rival from birth, is a problem for the Giants.
The teams begin a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday with Los Angeles (71-31) holding a 31 1/2-game lead over San Francisco (40-63).
“It’s not what we’re used to,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re in uncharted territory this time of year, where we’re at, but it is what it is. You go out there and do what you’re obligated and responsible to do, which is give it your best.”
San Francisco pitcher George Kontos told the Chronicle, “How far back we are in the standings is going to be the last thing anybody in this clubhouse is going to be thinking about going into this weekend.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expects nothing but the Giants’ best effort, given the nature of the rivalry and the Giants recent past that includes World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
“I don’t care what the records are,” said Roberts, whose club takes a five-game winning streak into the weekend series. “They’re a good team. A lot of guys from that 2014 team are still around.”
The Giants had protracted slumps of 6-15 and 7-25 this season, and they are 6-7 since the second half began. They won the last two games of a three-game series against the Pirates earlier this week, taking the finale 2-1 on Wednesday.
San Francisco’s Friday starter, Matt Moore, is 48-43 in his career but 3-10 with a 5.82 ERA this season. He has a loud rate of 11.2 hits per nine innings, and like many pitchers has been beaten by the home run, allowing 17 in 111 innings.
The lefty is 3-3 with a 5.54 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers, including a loss in two starts this season.
“It’s not like I have something that’s physically holding me back or anything,” Moore said of his season. “I’m excited about the second half and our chances of turning things around.”
Dodgers starter Alex Wood (11-1, 2.17 ERA) will oppose Moore. He took his first loss in his last outing, allowing nine runs (seven earned) and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves on July 21.
“We were a little sloppy in that game for Wood. It’s a game you just want to put behind you,” Roberts said.
“It was just one of those nights,” said Wood, who had allowed seven runs in his previous 10 starts.
The law of averages nabbed him.
“He’s been great for us,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said. “Woody will be fine.”
Wood is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in eight games (four starts) against the Giants.
The Dodgers are coming off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in which they scored six runs in every game.