The Giants have vaulted themselves into 2nd place in the division with a 9-4 victory over the Diamondbacks yesterday. This could mean one of two things:
- The Giants, now in 2nd place, stand a chance to catch the San Diego Padres for 1st place.
- The Giants, now in 2nd place, stand as little of a chance to catch the San Diego Padres for 1st place as they did a week ago, or a month ago.
In a sense, they're both true -- the Giants have always stood a chance, but it's in the same league as people surviving direct strikes of lightning. Yes, it's happened before, but if I were a betting man...
Let's think. The Giants have 28 games left in this season, and stand 6.5 games back. In essence, they'll have to gain one game on the Padres for every four games played. It sounds very, very possible, when we see that the Giants play the Padres seven times before it's all said and done. I mean, the Giants can gain a game each time they beat the Padres, right? Well, yes.
But they'll also lose a game every time they lose to the Padres, something that isn't out of the realm of possibility.
To put it another way, on July 25th I wrote about the Giants chances over at Small Ball when they were 7.5 games back, saying that they needed to try and gain a few games before month's end before the tough August schedule got underway. Well, it's now 38 days and 36 games later, and the Giants have gained...
...one game. One game in the standings. Uno.
You see my dilemma, no? If the Giants can only gain one game in 36 games, I'm not going to have lots of faith in their ability to gain seven games in 28 games.
But 2nd place is much, much better than 4th place, and any place ahead of the Dodgers is hallowed ground.