The Giants beat the Cubs tonight for the first time this season. Jake Peavy was gritty after a rocky 1st and might have made it through the 7th if Nori Aoki hadn't lost a ball in the lights. The team needed a win to keep pace with the Dodgers and a fine effort from the 'pen sealed the deal. Neither Brandon Crawford nor Gregor Blanco were available to play so the short-handed squad needed to step up. Let's hope both are back soon, this team is beat up enough.
The Giants 8-10 record in the 7th seasonal inning is in keeping with their up-an-down performance in 2015. Here's what we have:
1st inning: 7-11
2nd inning: 11-7
3rd inning: 12-6
4th inning: 8-10
5th inning: 9-9
6th inning: 12-6
7th inning: 8-10
67-59, .532 win pct., 2-1/2 games behind Los Angeles with 36 (two innings) to play.
Month-by-month it looks like this:
The Giants are 21-16 since the Break, a .568 clip. Maintaining that will put them at 87-88 wins. To get to 90 they'll have to go 23-13 or a blistering .639 pace. They'll have to get healthy and string good starts together. The expanded rosters are just around the corner but there are five tough games against quality foes before then. Ace Madison Bumgarner will close out the series with the Cubs tomorrow and then the Cardinals have the weekend for three. Mike Leake and Ryan Vogelsong are penciled in for the first two and it's TBD for Sunday. Then they hit the road on Monday the 31st for a massive showdown against the Dodgers. If the rotation holds we'll see Peavy, MadBum, and Leake in LA.
At this point in the season every little thing matters. It looked like Matt Duffy might have hurt himself tonight but he stayed in the game. No more casualties, lads. I've thought all along that this thing--the West race--will get decided in the final week at home with four against the Dodgers and three against the Rockies. If they can right the ship a bit here in San Francisco before those ten away games to start the final month I'll feel a lot better. I'm sure they will, too.