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The Giants are 7.5 games up with 16 to play. The magic number is nine, which means if the Giants go 4-12 to close out the season, the Dodgers would still have to go 11-4 to win the division. Or, if the Giants go 2-14 -- worse than any stretch over the last several seasons, including the misery from last August that dropped them out of the race -- the Dodgers would still have to go 9-6. You get the idea. The Dodgers start a nine-game road trip tomorrow, going first to Washington and then to Cincinnati. It will be tough for them to win the second Wild Card, much less the division.
Nothing is clinched, nothing is over. But you should probably feel free to walk around with a smug, insufferable smirk on your face. Especially if you work or go to school with Dodger fans. No words. Just constant smirking. McCovey Chronicles is not responsible for any bodily harm this may cause. I'm just saying if that's your thing, go for it. And if things should change for the worse, know that it was all your fault, you horrible, jinxing fool.
But the Giants should still thinking about winning their baseball games. This is a groundbreaking theory, I know, But it would be so much nicer if the Giants could win at least nine of their last 16, so we don't even have to deal with the scoreboard-watching. Part of that has to do with winning the games they're supposed to win.
Helllllooooooo, Rockies in AT&T.
The progression of how you're probably approaching this series:
- The initial, unwelcome flash of neurons in your brain that tells you, "Rockies at home? Sweet. Easy"
- The realization that this is still baseball, and that baseball is like that kid from Toy Story who mashes his toys together just to see what in the hell he can come up with. That's when you realize that your first thought was overly optimistic
- The rationalization that even though weird things can happen in baseball, the Giants should still be heavily favored to take two of three
- Then you pace around for a bit, manically cycling through those last two points until you give up and watch the Game Show Network with a gallon of ice cream over the next few days.
If you could pick a team you'd want to play four games against in September, the Rockies would probably be a good choice. They're in the middle of a lousy stretch, which is in the middle of a lousy season. They've always fared poorly in San Francisco, even when they're good. Maybe you'd prefer the Astros. But the Rockies aren't a bad choice.
Which scares the hell out of me.
I'll bet the Germans have a word for this. "Knowing you shouldn't get too cocky, but still feeling some measure of confidence, which then ends up scaring you into thinking you're overconfident." It should be something like "reissenschmaün." I'm feeling tremendous reissenschmaün about this series, then.
The Dodgers were probably a little discouraged that they didn't gain any ground in early August after sweeping the Cubs. They couldn't gain ground because the Giants swept the Rockies in Coors, keeping the Dodgers a half-game back. But the Dodgers had a consolation prize -- they got the Rockies at home right after that, which should have been an easy series. They lost the series. Not enough reissenschmaün. Or maybe the perfect amount, but that doesn't mean you can do anything about it.
Four games against a reeling team in not-Coors. The Rockies are back to a five-man rotation, but they're still using hybrid relievers, and I really can't figure out what they're doing. The good news is that neither can they. But that doesn't mean they're not a scary team over the next four days. They're a baseball team. All baseball teams are scary.
Except for the Astros. Yeah, I'd probably prefer the Astros.
Hitter to Watch
Not Troy Tulowitzki, which is all I care about. Except just typing that makes me worry that Josh Rutledge is going to go nuts. The reissenschmaün extends to individual players, too. I should probably just find another hobby and a different career because this is annoying.
Pitcher to Watch
None of them. This is a real movable object/stoppable force kind of situation. The Giants have scored six runs at home this year. The Rockies allowed six runs at the San Diego Airport last night. I'm still somewhat convinced the Giants' feckless home offense is something of a mirage or a fluke ... it doesn't make sense that AT&T is suddenly one of the most extreme home parks in the history of baseball. The Giants making the Rockies pitchers look like Rockies pitchers would make me feel better about them playing at home.
More made-up German words. Heinschenganglezentrisch. When two awkward players get their belt buckles stuck together during a routine post-game celebration. Get on it, Germans.