The Giants have nine games left on the schedule, or half a Seasonal Inning. If 18 x 9 = 162, then 9 x 18 must be the same thing, eh? You knew there was a reason you learned the Commutative Law in algebra class. The team was looking at a Magic Number of 11 when they finished the Eighth at 82-62. They took care of business with alacrity, clinching the West a mere 8 games later. The first half of the Ninth they whipped out an impressive 7-2 stretch, and sit 10 games up at 89-64. They play three against the Diamondbacks at home starting tomorrow, then three in San Diego on the weekend, then the final three in LA.
Both the Reds (92 wins) and the Nationals (93) have nine games remaining as well. They seem to have the best chance at the first two seeds in the playoffs. If the Giants finish as the three-seed, they will be the visitors in one of those cities. That means they play two at home, then go on the road* for the final three. That's the layout this year, it's not the usual 2H-2A-1H. They go back to that next year. A little crazy, to be sure, and even crazier is this second wild card entrant. I think the one game playoff is a post-season game, unlike tiebreakers which count as part of the regular season. What is that game called? The Wild Card Wild Card Game? I don't think I want to know. The number four seed in the playoffs could be a lot of teams. The Dodgers could still qualify. And if they beat the wild card team, and the Giants finished with the best record, they could host our boys at the LAtrine for two, just two days after playing three with them in the same place. Real life isn't like that. But this is baseball--Giants baseball--and it is like that. We have the scars to prove it.
But no worries, mates. Bring 'em on, I say, whoever they are. I like this team. This is a fun team to watch and root for. They are confident and play with a lot of joy. They are good. Good enough to win the World Series. I'm going to root for them just like that--with joy and confidence. We all know short series suck. Jose Oquendo can happen. Scott Spezio can happen. Edgar Renteria and Cody Ross can happen too, bitches. Six months of baseball, a week to settle it. If you're lucky, two more weeks. Lots of random variation. You can do almost everything right in games like these and still lose. But I like the Giants chances. They have a lot of weapons. And if Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster Posey can do the kinds of things they did last time, the rest will take care of itself. At least that's how it works on paper. It's not that the Reds and Nats (the most likely foes) aren't good. They are. But the way to be the best is to beat the best. I am eager to see how the Giants fare against these really strong clubs. If their season is built on a mirage of thumping the crappy outfits and fading against a quality opponent, then I want to see that. Because I don't believe it. I expect to see a well-led, determined squad. This Giants team has answered every challenge, and risen to every occasion. No reason to think they can't keep doing that.
*For the 2012 Postseason only, the five-game Division Series will begin
with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games
for higher seeds. This one-year change, which eliminates a travel day
prior to a decisive Game Five of the Division Series, was necessary
because the 2012 regular season schedule was established before the
agreement on the new Postseason format was reached. Next year, the
Division Series will return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years. MLB Press Release.