Be careful about looking too far ahead in the schedule. Baseball is a dumb sport, and while you’re looking at a future series against the Reds like it should be an easy win, the team will lose three games by a combined score of 31-5 and fall out of a window. The Giants have played games against seven different teams, and they have a winning record against just one of them: the Dodgers. Which is likely the best team out of the seven. Baseball isn’t as simple as looking at a schedule and assuming that your team will take two out of three against the bad teams and lose two out of three against the good teams.
That written, let’s look ahead in the schedule. The Giants are 15-24, which isn’t ideal, but it’s sure better than 12-24. They’re six games out of a postseason spot, somehow, which also isn’t ideal, but it’s also not impossible. Two weeks of not-trash baseball might actually get this team somewhere, and we can stop it with the trade-Cueto talk. Because stay the hell away from our Cueto, pal.
Two weeks of not-trash baseball will be hard, though. Look at the miserable stretch the Giants will have to endure:
- vs. Dodgers (3 games)
- at Cardinals (3 games)
- at Cubs (4 games)
- vs. Braves (3 games)
- vs. Nationals (3 games)
Again, baseball is funny, just not ha-ha funny, so it’s possible this will be the two-week stretch featured in the movie version of the 2017 Giants. They’ve played the Dodgers well, even though Clayton Kershaw tends to start every other game.
At the same time, though, the Giants should have a pretty good idea of their 2017 fortunes after this stretch. The three-game series against the Dodgers could propel them closer to relevancy, just as it can kick them down another flight of stairs. The seven-game Midwest road trip isn’t especially arduous compared to some other lengthy trips, but the Cardinals are in first place, and the Cubs probably will be soon. The Braves series would appear to be the perfect gotcha series, nestled right in the middle, ready to tinkle on whatever good vibes the Giants had provided up to that point. And then the Nationals, possibly the best team in baseball, finish it all off.
That’s 16 games. The Giants are going over a waterfall in a barrel, and it’s more than a little stressful. Baseball isn’t played on paper. It’s played on the masticated tendons of failed pitchers. And grass. Also grass. But sometimes the paper can point you in the right direction. From here, it looks like the team with the worst run differential in baseball is going to play three of the best teams in baseball, which should raise some red flags.
Back in 2015, I wrote this post:
Welcome to August, where the Giants' schedule is a nightmare
There were a bunch of contending teams, and the off days were scarce. The Giants entered the month just 1½ games out of first and in position to win the second wild card. They ended the month 13-16, with several losing streaks mixed in, losing three games in the divisional standings and getting lapped in the wild card standings, mostly because they happened to lose a bunch to the Cubs and Pirates.
This stretch isn’t as rugged. It’s not a full month, for one. The bulk of it is at home. And there’s also the luxury of significantly lowered expectations. I already have an eye on next year’s draft, if we’re being honest, which wasn’t the case in 2015.
Still, if you were looking for closure, this might be your shot. There’s a chance the Giants come out of this hilariously, with a stretch of unexpected success just to remind you of baseball’s quirks. There’s a chance everything will be confirmed. It’s a two-week stretch of potential doom, and I just wanted to make sure you were ready.
Beating the Dodgers with great anger and extreme malice would be a fine way to start, if you were curious.