The San Francisco Giants Down the Stretch

Giants in September

There is nothing to love more than meaningful September baseball, especially for teams in contention like the Giants. This is when every game, every pitch and every play is meaningful. It is the difference between your home team being on the couch in October versus being in the playoffs, trying to go to the Holy Grail, the World Series. As I have written previously, it is also when teams with nothing to lose will do everything that they can to try to upset you just to have an outcome in the race.  I do not begrudge them this. This is just part of the game. At this point in the season there are quite a few teams playing for “next year.”

The Giants did have a great road trip against the NL West going 7-3, taking two out of three games from the Dodgers, two out of three games from the DBacks, and three out of four games from the NL West-leading San Diego Padres. It did also help greatly that the Padres lost ten games in a row at a crucial point in the season. The Giants, at this point in time, do decide their own destiny. They are not at the mercy of other teams helping them out. Although, it does certainly help when other teams knock off the Padres, Rockies, Braves, and Phillies. I am thinking of those other  teams in the NL West and along with them fighting for the wild card.

I will state that the Giants do have an advantage with the teams that they face at the end of the season. However, in the Giants’ sixteen remaining games, three on the road against the Rockies (tough!) and the last three games of the season are at home against the Padres. Talk about grabbing the bull by the horns at this time of year. It is an exciting time of year.

Photo of Aubrey Huff by Icon SMI

What I do LOVE about this team is that it is a “hero-a-day” type of team. Every day there is a different hero, and it is usually someone who is unexpected. I was at the Giants-Dodgers game last Wednesday (Yes, I do go to the games) and the heroes were Matt Cain who pitched seven shutout innings, Travis Ishikawa who came off the bench to hit a clutch double, Mike Fontenot who hit a clutch single to drive in a run to get Cain the win, Aubrey Huff who scored a clutch run with some gutsy and ill-advised base-running and Brian Wilson, who closed out the game. I have noticed that the adjectives I’ve used are clutch and gutsy. Well, that is the type of team that it is.

The 2010 Giants team reminds me of the Giants teams of the late 1980’s. Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell were not superstars like Barry Bonds was. They were still very good players, but not superstars. The Bonds led Giants teams were centered around him and there was less of a team concept towards winning.

There are more reasons as to why I do LOVE the 2010 Giants. The other reason I love this team is the pitching, which in September has been excellent.  I can imagine this team going very deep in the playoffs due to their pitching. I do realize that the playoffs are a crap shoot, but their pitching has been very good. Any one of their starters could be a number one starter on another team. So, how do the Giants match up against the other competitive teams in the National League? I do think that the Giants could go up against any one of them. And win?! Well, that is the question…

Yes, with the Giants pitching, their veteran players (Huff, Burrell and Juan Uribe) and their young players (Sandoval, Torres), and their hungry players (Huff and Freddy Sanchez) that this is a team to be dealt with. Their offense does have the ability to both implode and explode, their defense is solid and their pitching has the ability to keep other teams off the score board. These are all the ingredients for a winning team. With all the past October disappointments of the Giants, do I really think that this is THE year? Yes, I do. I know that I have said this for every year since 1978.  It is one thing that I truly and absolutely want, a World Championship!! I just cannot imagine what it would be like to actually see the parade go down Market Street to City Hall.

I know that I am getting ahead of myself, but the season is close to ending with only about fourteen games left, and the Giants do have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs. From there, it is anybody’s guess as to what will happen. I know that I’ll be there waitng to see what will happen with a lot of other Giants fans. I also believe that the players are unaware of the heart ache of prior playoff losses, and that this team is looking with hope and “a new day” for the future….

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