Hoping For A Miracle
Last year on this date, the Giants were 4 games out of first place with 6 games left to play against the Padres. With another Arizona win, the Giants are now 6 games away from the Diamondbacks with just a month left on the season. With a three game set against the DBacks coming up this weekend, the Giants don’t need to simply win the series; they need to sweep. The front office just made an emphatic statement in DFA’ing Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada. Now, the team needs to make a statement of their own and cut into Arizona’s division lead.
Today’s game was a good example of what needs to happen in September: fantastic pitching, timely hitting, and a whole lot of luck. Given that the DBacks have decided never to lose again, this next month may prove to be difficult, although not completely impossible. If the DBacks by some miracle go .500 for the month, the Giants need to go 20-9 in order to tie them for the division lead. In other words, this is going to be hard.
Now if the Giants continue to hit like a bunch of elderly sea turtles, then there of course is no debate that winning the division would be nigh impossible. But let’s instead explore the positives to take from today. First and foremost, Rowand and Tejada are officially gone. Rowand, his ridiculous batting stance, his lack of plate discipline, and his apparent whining about not getting playing time is no more. Tejada, having by far the worst season of his career, was given the heave-ho shortly after whining about being asked to bunt. In short, two whiney, bad players have been removed from the equation. Furthermore, there’s talk that with rosters expanding Brandon Crawford will take playing time from Orlando Cabrera, who’s been downright awful, solving another problem.
In the midst of all this is also the return of Pat Burrell, the call-up of Brett Pill, and the benching of Aubrey Huff in favor of Mark DeRosa. Needless to say, a lot’s happened in the last 24 hours. The Giants’ play will be rendered moot though if the DBacks don’t start losing some games, a problem that can be remedied this coming weekend. The absolute best scenario for us right now is to go 6-0 vs. Arizona the rest of the way, while matching them game-for-game in between the two series, which would create a tie-breaker situation, which would be played in San Francisco based on their in-season head-to-head record.
The Giants have a long, tough road ahead of them. The hole that’s been dug for them was done by their own hand in losing to teams like the Cubs and Astros. Now they’re dependent on the Diamondbacks to lose, which is a dangerous thing to hope for. I still stand by my prediction that their pitching staff is due for a late-season meltdown, but that of course remains to be seen. With a day off tomorrow, Friday is the first day of the rest of the season.