In 10, 20, 30 years, people will look back at the 2017 Dodgers, make a low whistling sound, and mutter, “Man, what a team.” It won’t matter much if they won the pennant or not. They’ll be in the books as one of the best regular-season teams ever.
In 10, 20, 30 years, people will look back at the 2017 Giants and make a sound, alright.
So in most respects, there is absolutely nothing the Giants can do to make themselves feel better about how this season has gone for them or their rivals. It’s been an organizational calamity from the best pitcher down to the lowest levels of the minor leagues, and there’s nothing they can do to change that.
At the same time, there’s a way for the Giants to make the Dodgers and their fans panic just a little bit more.
We’ve been through this before, holding out naïve hopes that the Giants could beat the Dodgers in July, just to give us something to feel good about. Our requests were denied, and that just made us feel worse about the present and future. If you want to set yourself up for failure, root for your favorite sports team to defeat a far more talented team. It’s like rooting against a casino. It’s not going to end well.
But it could, though. The Dodgers have lost 10 games in a row. The Giants haven’t done that in 21 years. The Dodgers have lost 15 out of their last 16 games. The Giants haven’t done that since they moved to San Francisco. The Dodgers weren’t just going to have the best record in baseball. They were going to challenge the 2001 Mariners and 1906 Cubs.
To become just the sixth team to win 110 games, they need only go 30-19 (.607) over the remainder of the season, a winning percentage they have surpassed in each of the past three calendar months.
They were the Best. Team. Ever?
Hey, at least we included the question mark. pic.twitter.com/hG8EWb0jso— Emma Span (@emmaspan) September 11, 2017
And they still might be! They’re going to win the NL West and probably a postseason series or two or three. This stretch will all be forgotten. It might be replaced with something far more disappointing or triumphant, but this particular losing streak will be expunged from our memories, for the most part.
I just want the Giants to make it worse while they have the chance. This isn’t even about a Joe Morgan moment, in which the Dodgers are out of the postseason. This is about a fleeting, ephemeral poke in the nose. The joy gained from a three-game sweep would be completely empty calories. The Dodgers would still play postseason games with bunting around the perimeter of Dodger Stadium, and Tommy Lasorda would still smile when the team dogpiled on the mound after clinching the division.
If the offer is empty calories or no calories, though, well, gimme the candy bar. And if the Giants swept this series — heck, even if they just took Monday night’s game — it would sustain me for a little bit. Good teams shouldn’t lose 10 games in a row. Historically outstanding teams really shouldn’t lose 10 games in a row. And historically outstanding teams really, really, really shouldn’t lose 13 games in a row. With three simple victories, the Giants could make the Dodgers even more confused and terrified. They’re already stumbling around, wondering what hit them, but losing three games to one of the worst teams in baseball to extend that streak? That would be a punch to the beans even before you factor in the part about the Giants being their blood rivals.
It’s at this point that I would like to inform you that it probably isn’t going to happen. The Giants haven’t swept a series since July, and that was the only series sweep of the season. They just got humiliated by the White Sox, who are also one of the worst teams in baseball. And while it’s funny that the Dodgers are reeling, they still have one of the best rosters in baseball. The Giants are likelier to get swept than win the series. The Giants might be likelier to get swept than win a single game, though maybe that’s overdoing it.
At the same time, imagine it. The Dodgers should feast on Chris Stratton, except, whoops, looks like they weren’t expecting that kind of curveball. They have Clayton Kershaw going on Tuesday, except, whoops, looks like the Giants found another Brandon Hicks/Brett Pill-type to hit a random home run. (I’ve decided it should be Gorkys Hernandez’s first home run of the year, and I would like you to sign my petition.) Matt Moore has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this year, except, whoops, he flummoxes the Dodgers just like he did in September of last year.
It could all happen.
I promised Dodger fans I would tell them when it is time to panic. If they lose more games than they win this week, it is time.— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) September 11, 2017
It could all happen, and it would be a beautiful dreamscape as we skipped cloud to cloud, even if we knew that we would have to wake up eventually. The Dodgers would still leave San Francisco with a postseason future and the better team.
Just let me huff the fumes of their momentary panic, please. That’s a simple request from someone who hasn’t been afforded very much joy in the 2017 baseball season. If the Giants made the Dodgers and their fans upset for one, two, or three days before returning to their far more successful season, I would be very much in favor of that. Thank you.