SAN FRANCISCO -- Good morning, this is your annual reminder that the Giants will open their next season on the road. They do it every year, preferring to have more home dates during the summer, and occasionally that means opening in hostile territory.
That's the case next season, with a March 26 opener at Dodger Stadium. It'll be the first Giants game without Bruce Bochy as manager since Oct. 1, 2006. That game was so long ago that Jason Schmidt threw the first pitch and Steve Kline threw the final one.
There will be change, but some things remain the same. You play 162. You see every NL West team 19 times. You have at least one trip that makes you queasy just looking at it. Here's a rundown of the 2020 schedule:
The Giants will kick things off at Dodger Stadium on March 26 for the 10th time in franchise history. which means they'll have to stand around awkwardly as the Dodger raise another runner-up banner. They were there a year ago and Ty Blach beat Clayton Kershaw, with Joe Panik providing all the offense.
In all seriousness, this will be a huge day for the franchise. It will be the first game for a new manager, the roster should look quite different, and there's a decent chance that Johnny Cueto takes the ball because Madison Bumgarner is elsewhere. Opening Day 2020 will be the start of a new era for the Giants, so it's appropriate that the first pitch will be thrown at Dodger Stadium.
The Flip Side
When you open on the road, you finish at home. The Giants will be at home for the final six games of the season, with Milwaukee coming in for the final series. The 2020 season ends September 27.
Their home opener will be April 3 against the Dodgers, continuing an early season trend. The Giants' first 15 games next season are against NL West opponents.
The Best and Worst Trips
You know what? Next year's schedule isn't too hard on the bodies. There is a three-city trip to San Diego, Cincinnati and Atlanta in April, but it includes a day off and the latter two cities are certainly ones you don't want to visit later in the summer.
The real scorcher comes in August, with a trip to Denver, Detroit and Philadelphia that includes the rare wraparound, meaning the Giants will play four in Philadelphia and finish on a Monday. But they have two days off on that trip, too.
The Chicago/San Diego trip at the start of September is your best bet for tourism. If you would like to meet me, do not go on the Pittsburgh/Milwaukee trip in May.
The Giants visit Target Field in Minnesota for the first time and also go to Cleveland for the first time in a dozen years. The third interleague trip is a short visit to Detroit.
They also play four against the A's, of course, with a cushy schedule around those games. For a second straight season, their visit to Oakland will be a Saturday/Sunday affair with a Friday night off.
The Royals, Tigers and White Sox come to Oracle Park. That's not great for ticket sales.
The Giants and Dodgers will have a shortened All-Star break, as they'll be the only teams to play Thursday, July 16. That's kind of a bummer.
This was the first year in Bochy's career that he had July 4 off, but his predecessor won't be cooking hot dogs. The Giants are in Denver on the Fourth next year. They have Memorial Day in Pittsburgh but are home for Labor Day.
Finally, there's the part of the schedule that may be the most important, but we just don't know yet. Will the Giants end up facing Bumgarner at some point? Will another marquee name be elsewhere? Will they have traded for a star who returns home, like Andrew McCutchen to Pittsburgh last season? We'll find out over the offseason. For now, you can make your guesses ...
Here's the full Giants schedule for next year if you would like to guess which trip I definitely won't be going on: pic.twitter.com/X8PiLOlR8Q— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 12, 2019