The punchless Giants not only gave up leads but could not mount any sort of comeback threat in St. Louis and lost the final two games of their ten-game road trip to finish 5-5. They get two much-needed off days this week but in the midst of that have to play two very good teams. The Boston Red Sox lead the universe in offense, averaging almost six runs per game. The under-performing Los Angeles Dodgers have won 10 of their last 14 and are the only threat to the Giants in the West as Colorado, Arizona, and San Diego are all playing sub-.500 ball. Even the Milwaukee Brewers can't be taken lightly--the Giants lost two games to the woeful Atlanta Braves, after all.
After a ferocious May the Giants find themselves a little flat to start the month of June. One-third of the season is over and things are starting to shake out in the pennant races. As expected both the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are leaders in the East, but the upstart Miami Marlins are also making some noise. In the Central the Chicago Cubs are still playing .700 ball and leading by a lot, but both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are, as expected, still in the hunt. The usual suspects--LA and SF--are the powers to contend with in the West. That's eight teams with 30 or more wins, the weakest at .526 or an 85-win pace. That's not a dogfight, that's a battle royal. We'll see who holds up over the next one-third of the season.
The Dodgers have crept back to within 3-1/2 games so this weekend's series should have more than the usual intensity. FanGraphs has a "projected standings" feature and they list the Giants right now to win the West with a 91-71 record the Dodgers to finish second at 90-72! We've know all along that the West race was going to be a long, hard grind. Well, this is grind-it-out time. Giants need to gird their loins for the big homestand that starts tomorrow night. Let's hope we see a little more pop from the lineup and a little better execution from the bullpen. Otherwise, we got 'em right where we want 'em.