NEW YORK -- After a ninth-inning collapse Wednesday, the Giants are guaranteed their first losing season since 2008.

The title defense went off the rails right after the All-Star break, when the Giants dropped 12 games in the standings in just four weeks. But before Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the New York Mets, manager Bruce Bochy said some of the problems might have started long before the summer skid.

In fact, Bochy continues to wonder if the season's first major issue came with many of his stars wearing other uniforms.

Several times during this disappointing season, Bochy has mentioned the World Baseball Classic and the effect it might have had on his roster this spring. The topic came up again Wednesday, when Bochy told reporters that left-hander Jeremy Affeldt is likely done for the season because of persistent soreness in his left groin.

Affeldt is one of seven Giants big leaguers who participated in the preseason tournament. Five have spent time on the disabled list this season.

"I don't know if it's just bad luck on our part, but everybody that participated in the WBC had something," Bochy said. "It did make Affeldt crank it up earlier and may have affected him."

Some of the injuries to WBC participants have been fluky and unrelated to the exhibition that pulled players away from their MLB clubs for long stretches of spring training. But the list of injuries is still jarring.

Affeldt (United States) missed 50 games with a strained left groin and 15 games with an oblique strain, and wasn't his normal reliable self when healthy. Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic) missed 47 games after minor knee surgery. Angel Pagan (Puerto Rico) missed 84 games with a hamstring injury, and Pablo Sandoval (Venezuela) spent two weeks on the disabled list with a left foot strain. Ryan Vogelsong's 69-game disabled list stint came after he was hit by a pitch, but the right-hander has mostly struggled (5.73 ERA) after altering his offseason routine to pitch for Team USA.

"The question with the WBC is going to come up (with Vogelsong)," Bochy said in August. "He did start pitching early. Whether that took a toll on him, you don't know. I don't know -- it might have."

Marco Scutaro (Venezuela) avoided the disabled list but has started just 124 games because of finger, back and hip ailments. Closer Sergio Romo (Mexico) seemed to be the outlier, but Bochy admitted Wednesday that Romo was shut down for a few days after the WBC because his elbow was barking.

Romo said he feels as strong as ever as the season comes to a close, but he couldn't close out the Mets on Wednesday.

A night after the Mets left the bases loaded during a failed comeback attempt in the ninth, they failed to get anything going against Matt Cain, who opted not to participate in the WBC this spring. The extra rest didn't help early in the season, as Cain posted a 5.06 ERA before the All-Star break. But he has turned his season around, and after giving up just an unearned run in 72/3 innings Wednesday, Cain has a 2.34 second-half ERA.

"I wasn't going to just shut it down because things weren't going great," he said. "You're going to have rough patches. I was just making bad pitches and was a little off mechanically. But you've got to make adjustments."

Behind Cain and Gregor Blanco (two-run homer), the Giants took a three-run lead into the ninth. Bochy had hoped to stay away from Romo, but the closer was called when Casilla walked two of the first three batters. Romo has given up nine hits in his past four appearances but said he is fine physically.

"I'm very proud of that," he said. "It shows the preparation I did this offseason. I was prepared to come into the season. I don't feel tired."

That didn't matter Wednesday. The Mets scored two runs and loaded the bases with two outs. Former Cal standout Josh Satin ended the night with a two-run single to left. The Giants had been 56-2 when leading after eight innings.

  • Vernon "Lefty" Gomez will be inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame before Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium. Gomez, born in Rodeo, had a 3.34 ERA in 319 starts for the Yankees between 1930 and 1942 and was the winning pitcher in the first All-Star game. He died in 1989.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants.

    Thursday's game
    Giants (Madison Bumgarner 12-9) at N.Y. Mets (Jonathon Niese 7-7), 10:10 a.m., CSNBA