The Giants need to sweep this series, or else they’ll really, really, really be out of the playoff race. For reals, this time. There isn’t one of those "Oh, well mathematically, the Rockies could lose six straight, and the Giants can win six straight, and the Pope could issue a benediction, even though I don’t really know that means, but he could, and then maybe there’s a war and a draft, and all the Rockies players are chosen to fight the war, and the Giants don’t because they don’t believe the GOVERNMENT LIES AND PROPOGANDA, so the replacement Rockies (made up of various Denver-area drifters and n’er-do-wells) lose six more in a row even though they outscore the Giants, and…"
There isn’t any of that. The Giants need to sweep. The Giants need to leave this series only 1.5 games back if they want us to really believe that we’re in this thing. Sure, they could win two of three, which would put them 3.5 back. Which would certainly come close to almost putting things out of reach. Kind of. Almost definitely.
Well, I suppose that 3.5 back with sixteen games left isn’t impossible. I mean, stranger things have happened.
I just want closure.
But if the Giants lose another series – which would mean they’ve lost every series on this homestand, mind you – the season is totally, completely, no joke over.
Point: In 1998, the Giants were four games out of the wild card race on September 15th, and they were behind two teams that needed to both choke in order for the Giants to play a 163rd game. And that’s what happened. Things happen.
Counterpoint: Randy Winn.
Point: Heck, the Rockies needed to go 15-1 over their sixteen games in 2007 in order to make the playoffs, and they did. They needed help from Tony Gwynn’s son to ruin the Padres’ season, and it happened. So things happen. Crazy, unexpected things happen. It’s baseball.
Counterpoint: Edgar Renteria.
Point: See, that’s just it, smart guy. Renteria hit a grand slam in the last Giants/Rockies series. Not one Rockies fan was thinking, gee willikers and gosh dandy, I sure hope Edgar Renteria doesn’t kill us and put is into a tie for the wild card. But he did. For a day, he was a hero. Things happen. Weird, wild things happen in baseball. Mike Benjamin had 14 consecutive hits in 1995. Do you know what the odds must have been for that to happen?
Counterpoint: Bengie Molina…
Point: Obviously, you’re not listening. I get that the Giants have a lot of cod liver oil in their lineup smoothie, but that doesn’t preclude the hope of something unexpected, and…
Counterpoint: Wait, I’m not done. Bengie Molina…cleanup hitter.
Point: Niners looked good yesterday.
It’s just so hard to believe in this team as it is presently constructed, but I guess I don’t have a choice. Go Giants. Make me look stupid. Make us all look stupid. Make us feel good about our decision to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours following you this season. Shock the world. Actually, forget the world. I will settle for shocking me. Just me. Do it. I dare you.
And if you decide not to shock me, just lose the next two games and get it all out of the way early. Thanks.
Hitter to Watch: Pablo Sandoval is the only watchable hitter on this team. This is how it has been. This is how it will be.
Pitcher to Watch: Tim Lincecum's back! Also, Tim Lincecum's back.
Prediction: Edgar Renteria does not hit a grand slam in this series.