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It's pert near impossible to complain about a team that's been playing .500 ball for the month, so a different approach is needed. Optimism. Not the forced kind of optimism that was shoved down your throats to prevent insanity during the streak, but a real kind of optimism. That's not something that can realistically be found in this world right now. The memories are just too fresh from the losing streak. I can still see the stranded runners when I close my eyes. They give a pleading look -- desperate to come home -- but they're stranded. Left for good. I can still see them when I close my eyes...make it stop....

Some serious toad-licking needs to take place, as we'll need to go into an alternate dimension to get our happy thought fix after one measly win. Here's my attempt:

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By Grant
Posted on Thurs Aug 03, 2006 at 03:45:26 PM EST

Wow.

There aren't any other words. This kind of thing exposes my lack of talent. Maybe Bernard Malamud could have described the tear the Giants have been on, but I even doubt that.

Wow.

On Monday, July 16th, the Giants were 15.5 games back. Their season was done. The party wasn't just over, that creepy older guy who was hitting on all of the married women had stopped throwing up in the bathtub. Even he'd caught a cab. No need to turn out the lights, as the bulb shattered when I threw a bottle at it.

Since then: 17 wins in a row, with the streak ending yesterday. The offense was willing hits over defenders when they weren't hitting them out of the park. The pitching was unbelievable; maybe the best string of pitching I've ever seen from the Giants. Right before you pass out, a friend comes by hoping to catch the party. He's disappointed it's over, but he wants to know if you still wanted to hang out. Because, like, he has this ex-girlfriend who knows this guy who's rooming with this girl who works for the FDA doing clinical trials. And she scored this new experimental medication made from, like, some anubis root from Paraguay or something, but anyways....

Before you know it, you're duct taping plungers to your feet so you can walk up the walls and make out with the ceiling fan. Before you know it, the Giants are just 3.5 games out of first.

Three-and-one-freaking-half-games out of first. Testify!

The Giants weren't quite sure what to do at the trading deadline, so they mostly held on to their young players. They fixed a first base hole by trading one young reliever for a lesser young reliever, and they got a lefty to give Jonathan Sanchez some rest.

The next nineteen games are against division rivals. Just about any one of them could be in first place by the time the Giants play them. But the Giants have an insane amount of momentum going for them. They're just 3.5 games out of first. It's implausible, improbable, and a score of other ims, but it's reality. After being 15.5 games behind the division leaders, the Giants have clawed back. They could win this thing.

Wow.

See, that's just what you have to tell yourself to get excited about the upcoming games. I'm kind of jazzed up after writing it. I could wrestle an alligator, or something. If that were a real scenario, this place would be going bananas. Mays Field would rumble with every pitch and every hit.

So just pretend. Make up a scenario, and stick with it. The Giants are in last place. The Giants are contenders. Down is up, black is white. Everything I'm telling you is a lie, including this. Go the distance. Ease his pain.

And thanks for finally winning a game, you hacks.