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Giants hoping to avoid another 'June Swoon'

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ST. LOUIS -- Fortunately for the Giants, they don't spend their free time reviewing the team's day-by-day performances from previous seasons.

Otherwise, they'd be wary of June's arrival on the calendar.

The "June Swoon" was a malady that regularly struck the Giants when they were perennial contenders from their arrival in San Francisco through the early 1970s. They'd be near or at the top of the league or division standings until a subpar or downright terrible June record would drain their momentum.

Since then, the team has mostly avoided such slumps, though the malady has returned occasionally. During Bruce Bochy's first season as San Francisco's manager in 2007, the Giants owned a 25-27 record at the end of May -- but were only 5 1/2 games out of first place. Then, a 9-18 June left them 12 games back.

The Swoon initially manifested itself during the franchise's inaugural year out West in 1958. The Giants were tied for first in the National League with a 27-17 mark. A 10-17 June dropped them to third place, three games out.

Two years later, it cost manager Bill Rigney his job. He was fired in the middle of an 11-16 June that followed a 26-16 start and moved the Giants from 1 1/2 games out of first to six games back.

Other notable dips occurred in 1968 and 1973, when sub-.500 Junes sent the Giants tumbling from a half-game lead to 6 1/2 back, and 1971, when they lost more games in June (15) than in the season's first two months (14).

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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