Happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans.
After a rare Monday off day, the Giants are back in action tonight to start one of their most important series of the year, a two-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not only do the Giants desperately need to win a game or two for the standings, but they need to win at least one of the games to earn the tiebreaker against Arizona should the teams end the year with identical records.
It’s also the start of the most critical stretch of the season, with the Giants playing nine games in as many days: two in Arizona, four on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and three at home against the San Diego Padres. The Giants will emerge from that stretch firmly entrenched in playoff position, unless they emerge from it eliminated, unless they emerge from it squarely in the middle. We’re about to find out.
Anyway, the Giants, to this point, may be maddeningly inconsistent in terms of overall performance — they spent two months looking like arguably the best team in the Majors, and two months looking like arguably the worst — but they’ve been just as maddeningly consistent in their performance against teams of varying records.
In other words, the bad news is that the Giants aren’t really playing any better against bad teams than they are against good ones. The good news is that the Giants are playing as well against good teams as they are against bad ones.
Check this out.
Giants record this year against good, mediocre, and bad teams:— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) September 18, 2023
Against top 10 teams: 22-21
Against middle 10 teams: 25-27
Against bottom 10 teams: 29-26
Kind of encouraging! And extremely frustrating!
The Giants have seven games remaining against a top 10 team (the Dodgers), so these numbers could end up being even more skewed, or they could look a little bit more normal when all is said and done. It’s not out of the realm of reasonable possibilities that the Giants will end the season with a better record against top 10 teams than against bottom 10 teams.
That’s the good news and the bad news. It’s a sign of what the Giants are capable of, and it’s a sign of how much they’ve fumbled the bag. But if you want to be optimistic — and I do — the Giants have had a bag to fumble. Having a bag is a necessary part of being a good team. Now they just need to learn how to hold onto it.
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants and and Diamondbacks kick off their two-game set tonight at 6:40 p.m. PT in Phoenix.
Monday wasn’t great to the Giants. They had an off-day, as did the Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs. But the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds both won, while the Miami Marlins lost. The Giants enter Tuesday’s games trailing the first Wild Card (Phillies) by six games, the second Wild Card (the D-Backs) by 2.5 games, the third Wild Card (tie between the Cubs and Reds) by two games, and the Marlins by 1.5 games.