MLB

Is This Home-Stand Most Important for the Giants’ Season?

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants warms his hands in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers during Game Four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Comerica Park on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The broomstick was pulled out of the dimply lit closet and, after a swift sweep, it’s suddenly not about a wild card race. Again, the motor is churning along and attempting to sturdy itself in this year’s pennant race. And, for the Giants (77-65), the next leg is a seven-game home-stand.

Looking to further close the gap (three games behind the Dodgers), the club kicks off a three game series against a team which owns the first car of the merciless train that demolished all first half highlights. The San Diego Padres (59-84), of course, who said: “I see our 0-9 record with y’all this season.” And then countered with a sweep.

That was the opening series following the All Star break — a period of being recognized as the best team in baseball, for the Giants. In multiple ways, this home-Isstand is arguably the most important stretch of the season.

The Cardinals — the Giants’ next opponent before heading to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers — are currently ½ a game out of the second Wild Card slot (Giants are first). All indications suggest that we’re looking at a three team race for the National League Wild Card teams — Cardinals, Mets and either the Dodgers or Giants.

The next facet, one less about the numbers, is mentioned above. The forceful punch in the mouth from the Padres (July 15-17) unquestionably acts as the introduction to the perplexing narrative full of disarray and upsets, highs and lows.

This series could start the next chapter. One written so well that every critique of the process, every remark of the journeys midway fails, becomes utterly void. A new narrative, with a prelude titled “we’re going with a committee”.

Look for boldly innovative moves by Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy. He’s familiar with this calendar month and, now more than ever, it’s about doing what’s necessary to get a ring.

The sweep in Arizona made the Giants the last Major League team to win three in row since the All Star break. Simply put, they scored runs. A total of 23, in fact, which ties the most they’ve recorded in a series since the break (Mets, 8/18-8/21). The offense must transfer their Arizona tenacity into each and every game from here on out.

Seven times this season the Giants have swept their opponent. Five times they have won the next series and twice those next-series-wins have been an additional sweep.

The Padres are a team entirely capable of losing two of three, if not three of three. The Dodgers are in New York playing a three game series against a Yankees team that has made an unexpected push to slide into an American League Wild Card slot (two games out) and won seven of their last ten.

To add, the Giants’ longest home winning streak against a single opponent is with the Padres. They’ll open it up with Jeff Samardzija (11-9, 4.00); he is 5-1 overall in the eight times he’s faced the Padres.

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