Tonight we start a stretch of 13 games against division rivals, with the first 10 on the road. Following that, we play 6 against midwestern teams (vs Milwaukee and in Chicago) and then a final 9 more in the division. I do not need to remind any constant reader of the less-than-stellar record of the Giants against the West, but here it is anyway: We are 6-6 vs LA, a pitiful 2-9 against San Diego, a fortunate 8-4 against Arizona and 7-8 against Colorado, for an overall record of 23-27. We're getting better, though - at one time we were 1-5 vs the smog-suckers and 1-7 vs the puds.
Henry Schulman in the Comicle this morning had a good explanation of how many games need to be won based on historical precendent to win a division or wild card. He concludes that the Giants need to win 90 games and that takes an 18-10 run through the remaining games. There is just no way that we can be in this without taking it to our rivals. If we go 1-5, say, against the puds (and is anyone else out there hating this team in that deep, dodger-loathing sort of way?) we have to have a 17-5 (.773). Not very likely. But, if we split with them 3-4, we need only to go 15-6 against the other teams. Difficult, but not implausible. Here is another way to look at it. We have 9 series left (guess which fucking team we have to play one 4 game series against?). If we win each series, even if we split the four gamer, we are 18-10. See above.
Or, we have to play better than San Diego by 4 games (at least 3 to tie). If they go .500 (hopefully with some help from us) they end up 91-71. We have to win 19 to tie, 20 out of 28 to win the division outright. A tough order.
The facts of the matter are these: We have to have our starters be the tough, gritty perfomers that we know that they can be, Tim, Barry, Matt, Jonathan, Madison, all of them (and all have shown the stuff to do it in their last outings, Barry excepted). We have the arms for relief as long as they are not over-used. We have Runsler back, and some other help if we need it (Sosa, for example). We have to play good defensive baseball. No more right fielders taking a route towards the left field foul pole on a deep drive towards 421. We have to avoid taking ourselves out of an inning when we have runners on base. We have to take advantage of opportunities (see: September 1). We have to use what muscle we have at the plate. Pablo has been looking better lately, although he can still be prone to swinging at horrible, horrible pitches. Huff needs to get back in the groove (the July Huff was really much better than the August Huff). Sanchez needs to continue not being death at the plate. Burrell, Guillen, Ross, if these guys are in the game, they need to contribute. And Posey needs to continue to be Posey.
The Giants could easily play themselves out of it in the next 10 games, or shine like the bright lights of the future that will swell our innocent hearts with pride, make grown men weep and women tingle. Time to stand up, grow some cojones, be counted and BEAT THOSE ANNOYING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TEAMS.