This diary brought up the question that's in the back of a lot of our minds: When is it acceptable to hope the Giants lose? The correct answer is "never." I'm rooting for 99 straight wins to close out the regular season, and 11 straight wins in the postseason. If it doesn't happen, I'll whine and curse about every loss mixed in the next 99 games.
Here's a similar question, phrased in a different way: When is it acceptable to be less than crushed when the Giants lose? My answer: Maybe soon, but not yet. The Giants are 7.5 games back in the West, and they're behind four teams. That's bad, and probably insurmountable, but the season isn't over. The Astros of 2005 were 26-37 at this point in their season, and they charged back.
That kind of surge is incredibly rare, though. And while the Giants have significantly underachieved according to their Pythagorean win-loss percentage - meaning there's a chance they're a better team than the record shows - it would be a form of gambler's fallacy to think that they'll make up for the luck they've lost. Even if the Giants have been unlucky, it's hard to see them go on a historical run. But there's still a chance. The silver linings in the losses need to stay hidden for now.
So I enjoyed the win last night. Forget the whole "buyers v. sellers" debate, or any thoughts of the 2008 draft. It isn't time to give up on the season, no matter how devastatingly horrific the A's series was. Or the Mets series. Or the Diamondbacks series. Or the Rockies serieseses.
At the same time, I was also excited in a wholly practical way about Matt Morris's continuing success. If the Giants really are a sub-.500 non-contender, Morris would have serious trade value. He's been relatively durable over the past couple of seasons, and he's signed at or below the market rate for next season. If he keeps his ERA around 3.00 heading into the trade deadline, Morris could bring back an awesome bounty.
Cleveland's rolling, but their starting staff could sure use one more productive pitcher. They have a 25-year old starting shortstop doing well in the majors (Jhonny Peralta), and a 21-year old shortstop doing well in AA (Asdrubal Cabrera). The Indians might not even be thinking like that at this stage, but there will be a lot of teams looking for starting pitching and willing to give up a young position player. And we can lock those teams in a metaphorical room and watch them metaphorically claw out each other's metaphorical eyeballs in a frenzied blood panic for literal pitching. That's something the Giants haven't done in a while, if ever. It'd be kind of fun to watch. Metaphorically.
If the Giants continue to lose, a part of me has already made peace with that. Trading Matt Morris could benefit the team for the next several years. If the Giants start ripping off multiple wins, I'll plug my nose and remember how the '06 Cardinals rode a flawed team to a World Series title.
And if the Giants tank, and they hold onto Morris because he's signed through next year - how will we compete without him, etc... - I just might have to take the rest of the season off. Words would be useless. There is still a world market for baby seal pelts. My bare hands and I could make some money, get far away from baseball, and take out some aggression all at the same time.
Roll call: Already given up, or still looking for an improbable run? I'll play the idiot. I'm still looking for the improbable run.