That's the Giants Elimination Number for the NL West race. It also happens to be the Elimination Number for the NL Wild Card. The Giants are behind the Dodgers by 7-1/2 games and they are behind the Cubs by 7-1/2 games. San Francisco, at 77-69, has 16 games left on the schedule. Los Angeles and Chicago have identical 84-61 records and thus both have 17 games remaining. The Cubs still have a shot to overtake the 87-58 Pittsburgh Pirates for the top Wild Card spot but the situation for the Giants stays the same. Any combination of wins by the leading club and losses by the Giants that equals ten means the 2015 season is over.
The math, gloomy as it is, still represents a chance albeit a vanishingly small one. The MLB Postseason Probability tracker currently rates the Giants at 0.9% for the division title. Not much of a bet, eh? RMC's official position is "it ain't over 'til it's over" but that's the only position any self-respecting Giants fan can take, am I right?
Last night's exhilarating and agonizing win over the Reds got me thinking. Is Jake Peavy finally healthy enough to be a reliable starter? That home run was a nice bonus and a clutch hit to boot. The Giants are paying Peavy $15M to be a part of the 2016 rotation and his 2015 performance has not been encouraging. He'll be 35 in May and has 2200+ innings on his once-formidable arm. What can we expect next season? I'd like to pencil him in for 30 starts and 180+ IP, but is that realistic? If not, who takes his spot? I don't have the answers, but I like to think if he can stay healthy he can still be a productive player.
I'm also thinking about Santiago Casilla. It seems all of his saves lately have been both tortuous and torturous. He'll be 36 in July and I believe the club can buy him out for a million bucks this off-season and make him a free agent. Should they? Is it time to move one of the young bucks like Hunter Strickland into the closer role? I'm leaning that way, I admit. The Core Four is getting old and the remarkable run of consistency and high-level performance we've seen from these relievers is contrary to our usual experience. Most bullpen arms just don't last this long. Strikeouts are up this year with Casilla but walks and hits are as well. What's he got left? It's worth noting that 36-year old Jeremy Affeldt is a free agent next season after a injury-marred below-par campaign. Can you envision the Giants without the goofy lefty? Both of course are in the pantheon of all-time great Giants and I will never speak ill of them and always wish them the best in their careers. Speaking of one of my most beloved players, did you see AmyG talk to Andres Torres on the telecast last night? That 2010 year was so special and he was such a massive part of it I get teary-eyed whenever he shows up.
On the horizon for the home squad are three games with the Diamondbacks this weekend. Madison Bumgarner goes Friday night. Then it is six road games with San Diego and Oakland after an off-day Monday. The boys return home on the 28th with four against the Dodgers and finish the season with three against the Rockies. Nine games before LA comes to town--will they clinch before then? They have ten games to play in that stretch including three against the Pirates this weekend. If the Giants go 6-3 they'd have to go 7-3 to do just that. Is it just me or is it looking increasingly likely they will have to win in San Francisco to take the West? Could make for some great games, but could also be a hideous run-from-the-room and shield-the-eyes-of-the-innocent moment. I guess we'll have to wait and see.