I missed my deadline on Monday for the weekly review, and then a silly fight broke out, and then the Giants lost a couple more games. So here are some midweek thoughts on this dumpster fire of a season.
1) The Giants have been bad in general, but they’ve been especially bad against good teams.
- 3-4 vs Arizona
- 1-6 vs Colorado
- 1-3 vs Chicago
- 0-2 vs Washington
- 6-7 vs the Mets/Cardinals/Reds (teams hanging around .500 right now)
They have bucked this trend against the Dodgers, somehow, getting the best of that series to the tune of 6-4. But, the overall poor play against good teams does not bode well.
2) There are times when a good fight can catalyze a team. In a strange twist of events I was at the 2002 game in San Diego where Bonds and Kent got into it the dugout. Many people point to that moment as a catalyst for a team that went on to be a few out away from winning a championship.
This fight on Monday, though, had none of that kind of energy. If anything it highlighted how far this team has come from the band of misfits days of 2010. If the Giants do get hot and get back on the same page it will not be because of what happened on Monday.
3) As I’ve said, the goal for the Giants is to be at .500 by July 1. If they win tonight, they will need to go 18-9 in June to pull that off. If they lose (a likely scenario given the Scherzer vs Cain match up), they will need to go 19-8.
A cursory glance at the schedule would seem to give one hope (there are no Cubs or Nationals or Dodgers to be found in June). However, one of the stories of 2017 is the weirdness of the schedule. I highlighted how the Giants only played a handful of teams over the first month, and that circle has widened, but allow me to point out a few more quirks:
- The Giants have 4 road series in June and three of those are 4 gamers. That’s odd, and while that cuts down a bit on travel, spending 4 days in a city can be a grind. Plus, one of those series is in Colorado. A four game series in Coors can be an eternity, especially for the pitching staff.
- June will feature 16 road games (yikes), and only 11 home games. It also features a 5 game home series against AL Central teams. That’s four days in Milwaukee, 5 in SF, 4 in Colorado, 4 in Atlanta. Weird.
- The month, and the season, will really come down to how the Giants do in the 7 games against Colorado. The bunching of NL West series continues, and they will need to go 5-2ish against the Rockies to turn this season around.
Let’s assume the worst, and say the Giants need to go 19-8 to get to 41-41 (that’s pretty much the middle of the season). How can they do it?
- 7 game trip to Philly and Milwaukee: 2-1 against Phillies and 3-1 against the Brewers (who happen to lead the NL Central somehow, someway, right now). A 5-2 road trip would pull them to 27-34
- 5 game home stand against the Twins and Royals: 2-1 against Minnesota and 2-0 against KC gets them to 31-35
- Then comes the brutal 8 game trip to Colorado and Atlanta. Hope for a split in Colorado (2-2) and a split against the Braves (2-2). Treading water would put the Giants at 35-39.
- The Giants then come home for three with the Mets and 3 with the Rockies. 2-1 against the mets and a sweep of Colorado would put the Giants at 40-41. They then head back on the road to Pittsburgh, and if they open that series with a win: 41-41.
The Giants could make this a whole lot easier on themselves with a great road trip to Colorado and Atlanta, but I just don’t see that happening. They also could accomplish this with a long winning streak (or a stretch where they win 12 of 15).
Once they get to July they get some more games against bad teams, plus the All-Star break to regroup. Then the end of the month to acquire help.
The silver lining is that there are only 5 teams in the NL currently with winning records. It seems very likely that the Cubs and Milwaukee will flip spots soon, and I don’t see anyone in the NL East challenging for the wild card. That means, the Giants are chasing 3 teams: St. Louis, Arizona, and Colorado. Two of those teams they still have many, many games against.
As bad as it has seemed, they still have a very good chance to get into this. The question is who is going to get them there?
Monday we’ll take a look at the lineup again, and which players are the keys to a resurgence.