The Padres got their revenge today. It's been a humiliating run for them (2-12 in July, 6-20 since beating the Giants on June 17th, getting no-hit, etc.) and they took it out on Barry Zito and the bullpen. The loss comes immediately after the high point of this low point in the season, something only lifers like us can appreciate. You have to be encouraged by the team taking three of four from San Diego, especially since they won so impressively, flashing all of their considerable tools. And they avoided the basement, at least for the Break, and that has to feel good. But there are things to be discouraged about, most especially the math, which I'll get to in a bit. Tim Lincecum pitched a no-hitter last night, and that was damn exciting. Remind yourself of that when this much-needed hiatus from the games is over. Mostly, this season is about missing Ryan Vogelsong, wondering about Matt Cain, and remaining bewildered about Barry-Z. The Giants come to the ASB 43-51 with 68 games remaining. They need 39 wins to finish with a winning record. To win 90, they have to go 47-21 which is .691 ball. There are only three .600 or better clubs in the majors right now. If the Arizona Diamondbacks play roughly their current .532 ball the rest of the way, they'll finish with 87 wins. That means the Giants will have to go 45-23 (.662) to beat them out. That's taking two of three in every series from this point forward. The team has 21 series left.
It's long odds, to be sure. I'd put down a bet only if you gave me at least 10-1. But I'm not a betting man, I'm only happy when my money rides on sure things. (As if there are any of those.) It is not outside the realm of possibility, though. That's the thing. It could happen. There is a lot of talent in San Francisco. There's grit, moxie, élan, esprit de corps, and VSC aplenty. Not to mention pennant race experience. The NL West is still open despite the Giants being out by seven games, that's something that can be halved on a good weekend. A ten-game win streak, a stretch of 12 wins in 15 or the like, could turn the season around. Such things happen, as we know, quite often in baseball. So, let's relax and enjoy the respite, and if you get the urge post up your notions about the second half. Let's kick 'em around and see what we've got, maybe we'll come up with all the answers.
p.s. Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey are awesome.