San Francisco Giants playoff chances: What to expect for the remainder of the season
By Danny Vietti
June 26, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Mike Broadway (57) delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Rockies defeated the Giants 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
You might be wondering, “Who’s that guy in the picture above?” Well first of all, read the caption smarty pants. Secondly, that is Mike Broadway and we may need to get used to seeing him, among other San Francisco Giants prospects, on the field throughout the next few weeks.
I thought about starting this article professionally by saying, “The struggling San Francisco Giants have lost nine of their past 12 games, leaving them blah blah blah…” Look, the Giants are done. Stick a fork in them, they are done. They will be kicking back on the couch with a beer in hand, thinking about all of the “what ifs”, and watching Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers play in the postseason. Yes, I know…just typing that was depressing.
So, what do we have to look forward to and why should we keep selling out AT&T Park? Personally, I am not going to tell you they still have a chance and need the help of their home crowd to propel them to the playoffs. It’s too late for that. Perhaps if the series down in Los Angeles had gone differently a couple weeks ago, I would be writing about what we need to do from here. Instead, here we are, sitting 8.5 games back of both the Dodgers in the NL West and the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card. What now?
Manager Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants roster are not going to admit that they have given up on the year. When the reporters ask Bochy if he will start implementing his young guys now that they have fallen so far back, he will respond similarly to his response to an interview with Andrew Baggarly after the sweep in Los Angeles.
“This is the last thing we wanted to happen, but it happened,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who was ejected for the second consecutive night. “We’ve never done anything the easy way, anyway.”
Although some may call it BS, what else is the man going to say? We can’t expect him to just say they are giving up, but these type of phrases are what we should come to expect as far as the interviews go.
OK, so what should we expect from the actual games and play of the team? Well, as illustrated by the responses of Bochy and other Giants players, they are not going to just wave the white flag. However, little by little, we should expect to see more play time for guys like Brett Bochy, Cody Hall, and Jackson Williams, and more “off days” for the regulars like Buster Posey and Brandon Belt. To be honest, I completely support this because there is absolutely no reason to risk the health and careers of your core players over meaningless games. Just ask Hunter Pence.
Not only will we be seeing less of our MVP Posey, but we will begin to see shorter outing for guys like Madison Bumgarner and Mike Leake. Between the regular season and postseason, Bumgarner pitched a combined 241.1 innings last season, which ranked second only to James Shields who also pitched crucial innings in the World Series. Although Bochy will try his best to win each and every ballgame, he will have to keep in mind that the future is more of a priority than the present. In a sense, it will be an extended Spring Training, just not to that extent.
Remember in the movie Kung Fu Panda when the crazy turtle Master Oogway said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” I forgot exactly where I was going with this quote, but this is one heck of a saying, huh? Definitely a motivating tweet of the day.
In all seriousness, Master Oogway’s saying will prove itself in the final 22 games of the season, in that the Giants will have to forget about losing their playoff chances, prepare for their future by letting their young guys get more experience, and worry about what is best for the team for that specific game.
Another situation that we should prepare ourselves for is some big blowout losses. For instance, on September 3, San Francisco came out extremely flat and ended up getting demolished 11-3. This specific game enjoyed an MLB debut by Cody Hall and a few-and-far-between appearance by Mike Broadway. San Francisco may not necessarily be giving up, but there is little argument when I say they have more important things to worry about then a meaningless game against a last place team. The point is, Giants fans may be wishing the MLB implemented a mercy rule because things could get out of hand real quick.
Look, San Francisco fans, I feel your pain. But keep in mind how spoiled we have been over the past five seasons. I know that it is hard to admit, but we are going to have to see the glass as half full for the rest of the season because these next few weeks are going to get ugly at times. As an old teacher once told me, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.” Or, something like that.
Well, Giants fans, good luck to you throughout these next 22 games, hold on to your 2014 World Series memories, and be thankful you aren’t a Padres fan.