SAN FRANCISCO -- Just about every night is now a special event night at AT&T Park.
Tuesday was Jerry Garcia Tribute Night. This Friday is the second Filipino Heritage Night of the season, and Saturday is Fellowship Day. Later this month, the Giants will hold Bruce Lee Tribute Night, and in September they will welcome video gamers, social media mavens and yogis, among others.
There's only one thing missing from the ongoing party at Third and King: victory. The Giants have lost 22 of 30 home games since June 9.
The skid is astounding for a team that has finished with a losing record just three times in 14 seasons since moving to its waterfront home and at times has been almost unbeatable there. In four of those seasons, the Giants have won at least 50 of their 81 games at home, and they went a combined 97-65 there during the regular seasons of their two championship runs.
Even after Wednesday's rousing and controversial win over the Chicago White Sox, the Giants sit at 30-31 at AT&T Park, which has been sold out every night. They are 33-26 on the road, outscoring opponents by 32 runs. At home, the Giants have been outscored by four runs.
The streak has led to many a late night for manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean, both of whom live within walking distance of the ballpark. They stay in the manager's office deep into the night, trying to find a fix. Bochy said the brainstorming session after Tuesday's 3-2 loss was one of the longest yet.
"That was a tough one," he said slowly, a tired look on his face.
The problems have even led the manager to break out one of his favorite axioms. "This shouldn't happen," he said after the Giants were shut out at home one night last month. "It's got me buffaloed."
The Giants have spent two months trying to figure out what's going wrong at home. A deep dive inside the numbers shows there's no magic bullet. But if you ask around the clubhouse, the first issue that pops up is a lack of power.
The Giants hit 25 homers while going 22-9 at home through a sweep of the New York Mets on June 8. Then the Washington Nationals came into town, taking three of four and starting the tailspin. Since June 9 -- the start of that Nationals series and this skid -- the Giants have just 13 homers in 30 home games.
"I wasn't sure if we could sustain (the early pace) for the entire season, but we expect it to be a little better," hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. "The guys that have the power that can hit homers here are the guys in the middle -- Pablo (Sandoval), Hunter (Pence), Michael (Morse) and Buster (Posey). Hopefully they can regroup and gain some kind of strength in the last six weeks to get us back on track."
During the 8-22 stretch, Posey and Sandoval have homered three times apiece at home. Pence has homered twice in those 30 games, and Morse, who this spring confidently predicted he would be AT&T Park-proof, just once (and twice total since June 5).
But the power outage goes beyond homers. The Giants, who had 52 doubles in the first 31 home games, have just 30 in the past 30 games. The lineup's slugging percentage has dropped from .410 over the first 31 home games to .315 over the past 30. During this same stretch, the Giants are slugging .366 on the road.
"There's danger when there's an extra-base hit, and we've been missing that," Bochy said. "Those extra-base hits make life easier. It's hard to string three of four hits together against really good arms."
The Giants did that Wednesday, getting three consecutive RBI singles to pull away after an overturned play at the plate. But those rallies have been few and far between, and the problems have been exacerbated by an inability to do the little things. The Giants, who had 16 sacrifice flies and 18 stolen bases in their first 31 home games, have just three sac flies and four steals in the last 30 at home.
It's an easy equation. Take the loss of power, mix in a lack of execution and then sprinkle in a startling drop in on-base percentage (.317 to .279) and you have an explanation for why the Giants are averaging just 2.8 runs in their last 30 home games. (They averaged 4.3 runs in their first 31 home games, winning 22 of them.)
The hitters aren't the only ones responsible for this slide. The pitching staff's ERA has risen from 2.76 in the good times to 4.05 in the bad. The home woes started when the Giants gave up 17 runs in three straight losses to the Nationals and calcified when the bullpen blew three straight save opportunities in the following series against the Colorado Rockies.
The staff struggled mightily in June but pitched better in July and gave up just four runs in the first home series of August. It was before the first of those two games that Bochy met with the team and imparted a desperate message: Someway, somehow, grind out enough wins down the stretch to make the postseason. It doesn't matter whether they enter as division winners or a wild card.
"You've got a chance then," said Jake Peavy, who got his first win as a Giant on Wednesday. "Anything can happen -- we've seen that."
The Giants know that better than anybody, and they realize that if they can string together enough home wins to grab a playoff spot, the strange AT&T Park swoon will be old news. After all, the 2010 and 2012 titles were clinched on the road.
For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants.
The Giants' remarkably bad run at AT&T Park over their past 30 games makes perfect sense when key statistics from that stretch are compared with those from their first 31 home games:
First 31 Last 30
Runs/game 4.3 2.8
ERA 2.76 4.05
Home runs 25 13
Doubles 52 30
Slugging pct. .410 .315
Stolen bases 18 4
Sacrifice flies 16 3
Records 22-9 8-22