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Week 9: What to watch for and how to watch it

Can the Giants find the gas pedal again?

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The eighth week of the bizarro 2020 MLB season ended in the worst possible way for the San Francisco Giants. Friday brought about a positive coronavirus test result for a player, which led to the postponement of two games.

And while it proved to be a false positive, Alex Dickerson had to deal with the fallout of inaccurate reporting while he repeatedly tested negative in follow-up tests.

Then they topped it all off by getting their butts kicked by the San Diego Padres in a doubleheader, ending the week by getting swept.

And so they enter the penultimate week of the season seeking more wins and fewer false positives.

The schedule

Monday, 9/14: OFF
Tuesday, 9/15: @ Seattle Mariners, 6:40 p.m.
Wednesday, 9/16: @ Seattle Mariners, 6:40 p.m.
Thursday, 9/17: OFF (for now)
Friday, 9/18: @ Oakland A’s, 6:40 p.m.
Saturday, 9/19: @ Oakland A’s, 1:10 p.m.
Sunday, 9/20: @ Oakland A’s, 1:10 p.m.

How to watch

Regional TV: NBC Sports Bay Area, available through fuboTV (all games)
National TV: Tuesday and Saturday (MLB Network), and Sunday (ESPN, available through fuboTV)
Radio: KNBR 680 AM/104.5 FM

Where the Giants stand entering the week

The Giants are 23-24, third place in the NL West, and have a 56.1% chance of making the postseason, per Fangraphs. That’s up from 48.5% this time last week.

Must-see game

If you only can watch one game this week, make it Tuesday’s. The Giants need to stop the bleeding after losing three straight, and the last time they won was against the Mariners, who they’ll be playing on Tuesday. It’s an important game.

Giant to watch

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Mike Yastrzemski is still playing well, but not at the blistering pace that put him at the front of the NL MVP pack in the first month of the season. In his last five games he’s hitting 3-18 with 1 home run, 1 double, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts.

It speaks to how well he’s playing that I have to use such a small sample size to find him struggling, but the Giants need Yaz to be a star if they want to make noise.

Opposing player to watch

Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Last time the Giants and A’s played was a disaster. San Francisco blew two big leads, got swept, and allowed 30 runs in a three-game series. You can pick just about any A’s position player to represent that struggle for the Giants, but I’m picking Matt Olson, who went 5-14 with a pair of home runs in the series.

What beer I’m drinking from my couch bleachers

Everything about this week is weird. The Giants only play AL teams. They’re jockeying for postseason position in an eight-team field. They’re trying to bounce back from the setback of a false positive test result for a pandemic-causing virus. The only play five times, unless they squeeze in a game against the San Diego Padres while they’re in Seattle.

Nothing makes sense, just like Wizards & Gargoyles, a beer that blends a Hazy IPA — already a subcategory — with coffee, and puts two rival breweries (Stone and Modern Times) in collaboration.