It's the paradox of being a good fan. You can't give up. The Giants are just about as close as any second-place team in baseball. They're in this thing, where this thing is loosely defined as a playoff race. And the Giants have faced worse odds before. How about being five games back and chasing two teams with 11 games left? The Giants did it. They caught up and forced a 163rd game. Sure, they screwed up a chance to win the wild card outright when Neifi Perez hit a home run off Robb Nen, but ...
Wait, I was going somewhere with forced pseudo-optimism. Then I blacked out. Guess I'll start over.
They're still in it. Three games back with a month left is a tough ditch they've dug themselves, but durr hurr hurr still in it. That sort of pragmatism feels so forced right now. The Giants have been absolutely manhandled by the worst team in baseball this year, if not decade. They were a medium-deep fly ball away from getting swept by the Astros last week. They barely squeaked out a win against the Padres in a two-game set. And now the Astros are right back where they started, completely shutting the Giants down with their 110-loss pitching staff.
Oh, and tonight's ace was Henry Sosa. You know how internet goobers always overvalue their team's prospects? It wasn't like that with Sosa. The Giants traded for Jeff Keppinger, fans saw what they had to give up, and never thought about Sosa again. Until tonight. When he was making the entire team look like fools. Except for Keppinger, but they probably had some sort of handshake agreement.
The Astros aren't playing the role of spoiler. They're our friends. The Giants are standing on the roof with wings made from popsicle sticks and feathers from an old pillow, and the Astros are calling to them from the sidewalk. Dude, get down from there. Just ... come on, just get down. Dude, that's not going to work. I'm telling you, just ... come on down. And we're all kind of optimistic; like, hey, it could work if everything goes exactly right durr hurr hurr. They're just trying to help.
Those of you who are season-ticket holders probably already have your invoice for playoff tickets already. Here I am, prattling on and on about "they're still in it," yet you're the ones who actually have to write a check to back that belief up. So, you watched tonight's game. Get out that checkbook. You're paying to the order of "SF Giants." Right, mmm-hmm, now put the amount. It's a few hundred, at least. Just put those numbers in there -- no, no, they're still in it, just three games back -- now spell out the numbers. Sign it. Post-date it if you want, they're used to that trick.
Didn't that feel good? They're still in this thing.
That's the starting pitcher for the Astros tomorrow night. If they can't hit him, the Giants deserve to slink all the way back to fifth place, Chutes-and-Ladders-style. If you can still believe in the Giants after they get shut down by J.A. Happ, well, I guess you're just a better fan than I am. And by "better," I mean you're a complete idiot who should just stop bothering the rest of us.