It's time to break out the schedule, and see just how the Giants are going to do this. This isn't the time to mess around, and the team knows it.
Colorado at San Francisco, three games
Perfect chance for the Giants to take two out of three, climbing back to within 1.5 games of the wild-card. The last game will be lost in the ninth-inning, when Mike Stanton throws a sacrifice bunt attempt into the opposing dugout. That's okay. They didn't need the sweep, anyway.
San Francisco at St. Louis, three games
Here the Giants will win the first game, keeping the team 1.5 off the wild-card pace. The next two games will be lost, though. The first against a two-hit performance from a recently-signed Rick Reed or Alex Fernandez, and the second after back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back doubles against Matt Morris during the national anthem. This will leave the Giants 3.5 games back, and mostly out of contention.
San Francisco at Colorado, three games
San Francisco at Milwaukee, four games
Wait! They win a rousing seven straight games, and move to within one game of the lead! Clutch hits beget clutch defensive gems which beget the strongest stretch of pitching in a decade. The Giants will return to San Francisco with a little spring in their step. A little confidence. A little arrogance, even. Perhaps with an anger they can channel. Grrrrr! Go Giants!
Arizona at San Francisco, three games
The team treads water, winning and losing the exact same number of games lost by the team directly in front of them. It's frustrating, but the team is still in it.
Los Angeles at San Francisco, three games
The Giants win the first game on a couple of big hits from Barry Bonds. Things are looking up, but they lose the second game after a bullpen meltdown. With the Giants still able to tie for the wild-card slot during the last game of the season, Jeff Kent hits a walkoff home run to crush the Giant playoff hopes. This somehow takes place even with the teams playing in San Francisco. Dodger fans go wild, Bonds hurts his knee walking off the field, and Steve Finley and Orel Hershiser jump onto the field and start making out on the field like at the end of Fever Pitch, with the....
Oh, you were expecting something different after reading, "It's time to break out the schedule, and see just how the Giants are going to do this....?" As in, you thought this was going to detail how the Giants were going to surge and capture a playoff spot? Not this team. It isn't that they aren't talented enough; they have a number of things going for them. It's that the alpha-male of their talents happens to be the dominant urge to crush spirits, especially after feigning momentum. Giants take two straight against the Padres, the buzz and excitement is something tangible enough to spread on toast...and they play a totally lifeless and flat game to lose the last game of the series. Oof.
Now, a team playing .750 ball is still going to lose every fourth game, so this is probably a wee bit of overreacting. Probably, heck, it is overreacting. The team did win two of three, moving them a game closer to the eventual goal. That's nothing to be ashamed about. Yet, you can't help but wonder why they have to tease us so. A sweep would have been so, so nice.
The schedule looks like something a playoff team would be able to manage. That just sets up the obvious question, and I don't think anyone has an answer for that yet. Unless that answer is "maybe", of course. I can get behind maybe.
Comment starter: The remaining schedule. Favorable? Does it really matter for a team that can manhandle the Padres, but can't win a thing against the Pirates?