You have to realize the road that the Giants have to travel in order to make a run at the Padres.
Has anyone realized, in looking at the Giants remaining schedule, that there are only two teams that they play that have a worse record than they do? One is the Rockies, who occupy the rankest part of the smelly armpit that is the NL West. The other is the Cincinnatti Reds, who are worse than the Giants by...1/2 of a game.
Let me break this down to you. First of all, forget all the talk of "these are the kinds of games that they should win", because only the Rockies fit that category for the Giants. The Giants have the all-but 2nd worst record in the NL for a reason, and remember, they have the 2nd worst record in the NL while playing in the worst division in all of baseball.
What this means, folks, is that even the Giants poor record is deceiving. Their best record vs. any division is against...you guessed it...the NL West, where they stand at an even .500. The Giants have gotten clobbered vs. the NL East (4-11), almost held serve against the NL Central (11-12), and of course got clobbered in interleague (6-12). So, in reality, the Giants would likely have a worse record than they do now if they happened to play in any other division in baseball besides the one they are in.
And we think these guys have it in them to come back from 7.5 games down?
If every single game the Giants had remaining was against the NL West, I'd give 'em a shot. But the Giants play tough opponents almost all of August (Astros, Cardinals, Mets, Phillies, Braves), and although they do play the Rockies and Reds, we must remember: 1) the Reds have about the same record as the Giants, and 2) the 4-game set is in Cincinnatti, where the Reds have a winning record.
On top of that, there isn't any safe haven for San Francisco. Did you know the Giants road winning percentage (.438) is actually better than at SBC/Mays Field (.423)? I mean, it's supposed to be a good thing to have a long home stand if you want to make a run -- for the Giants, being at home isn't any better than being on the road.
The Giants would be very lucky to not fall further back in August, nevermind making a run. Being totally honest, I don't really think the teams ahead of the Giants in the division are really significantly better than the Giants, but it doesn't matter. They played better baseball in the first half of the season, and that alone is enough to seal the Giants fate for '05.