SAN FRANCISCO – As losses continue, people in Oracle Park continue to weaken.
The Giants sold a season-low 26,627 tickets for their 6-3 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday and fans who chose to stay home did not miss much.
San Francisco fell behind early and amassed just three hits in another frustrating home performance, with the Giants averaging just 3.53 runs per game this year.
"Between the walks and the faults, we gave up some cheap runs and it came back to us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "And it's heartbreaking that we haven't done much."
After setting their previous floor with a paid attendance of 26,826 for the opening round of Monday's series against the last-place team in the National League Central, the Giants have sunk below total in the club's 71home games of the year.
The club has 10 games left in Oracle Park this season including six in a couple of weekend series, so it's hard to imagine attendance dropping lower than Wednesday's number, which is fifth lowest ballpark history. The Giants have a base of about 26,000 season ticket holders, meaning Oracle Park's record-low attendance of 23,934 slated for a May 11, 2009 game against the Nationals is not dangerous to fall to next. that year.
The actual number of fans attending Wednesday's game was smaller than most announced, but the Giants haven't given their supporters much reason to go to the park this season.
Forcing a spectacular turnaround in the last two weeks, the Giants are heading into their third consecutive season loss. The Giants played better on the road than at home, where they were nine games under .500 and at the risk of posting the worst percentage winning home in two decades of stadium history.
"You're going to have nights like these, sure we don't like them, but they're poor," Bochy said. "You look at this series, the first game is away from us, but we look good tonight. There is no twist here."
At this point, the Giants spend a lot of time learning about inexperienced or inept talent who may have a chance to contribute to future winning teams.
Rookie right fielder Jaylin Davis was among the players' auditions and collected his second RBI career and first at Oracle Park to put the Giants on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
In the first and third, Davis rode a 103.1 miles per hour ground floor by first baseman Josh Bell to score center fielder Kevin Pillar kicking off the rally by beating a foul.
After fellow rookie Mauricio Dubón drew his second career walk to take the Giants' third run, San Francisco had a bases-loaded single and a chance to overcome a 4-3 deficit. Instead, first baseman Brandon Belt exploded before catcher Stephen Vogt came out to end a big inning that still managed to cause frustration for the Giants.
"We just can't do enough damage to that entry," Bochy said. "But you took away the fifth and we did nothing."
Wednesday's game also offers the Giants another look at their top prospect, Logan Webb. It didn't take as long as they didn't expect.
The rookie struggled through an annoying outing against the Pirates as the right-hander allowed seven hits and four earned runs on 4 2/3 guests. Webb is having a hard time ordering his off-speed pitches as his slider control and change are issues in Wednesday's first game.
Leadoff doubled from right-hander Pirates Jose Ozuna in the second and fourth innings that led to Pittsburgh's rallies before a two-out RBI single from third baseman Colin Moran in the fifth gave Pittsburgh a fourth run of the night in the fifth.
"It's just frustrating as a competitor," Webb said. "I wanted to put the team in the best position I could ever win and I never did that again."
Webb's start was an improvement on his last appearance in which the Cardinals tagged him for eight runs on 2 2/3 guests, but this is not the kind of big step forward that the Giants to see on Wednesday.
"It's just the wrong location," Webb said. "When you do that, you tend to give up the hits and I think I've done it now. It's just annoying."
Webb will remain an integral part of the team's plans for 2020, but the organization will be asked to place a more disruptive product in the field if it hopes to regain the support of ticket buyers.
Even with plans to reduce prices for most season-ticket packages, the Giants are likely to lose some of their long-term customers this offseason. That could lead to more crowds next year, when the franchise will face a difficult challenge of replacing manager Bruce Bochy and potential ace Madison Bumgarner.