The San Francisco Giants showed some late fight and got themselves within five games of the division with a big ninth inning comeback on the Dodgers. Is this the catalyst?
I feel like I’ve penned this article 100 times this year. Every single time I do, and every single time the fanbase feels like they might have turned a corner, they make a u-turn. So I’m skeptical. But can this really be the catalyst?
A few weeks ago we examined the remaining schedule and how there was a big opportunity for the Giants to make up ground with games against really bad teams coming up. They still have 19 games coming up against the bottom feeders of baseball, so that’s a big positive. But they’re going to have to get hot and win a majority of those games.
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Yesterday’s win was a huge step forward. Brandon Crawford and Gorkys exited the game with injury which could have things hanging in the balance. But for the Giants to come back in the ninth like they did, and then watch the Dodgers implode felt like a step in the right direction.
The Giants were struggling to deal with Kershaw, as does every team who faces Kershaw until the calendar strikes October and the carriage turns into a pumpkin. It didn’t look pretty, and frankly, anything other than a sweep in this series would’ve meant an end to the Giants playoff hopes. But then up stepped Nick Hundley in the dying moment of their 2018 hopes, and delivered a massive two-out, two-run hit to flip the script.
Will Smith came in and shut down the Dodgers in the ninth and it was party time. A huge win for the sake of the Giants playoff hopes, and something that has given even the most skeptical of fans a glimmer of hope once again.
Last night becomes all-for naught if they don’t carry out the rest of the series. Their current standing, at the very edge of contention, hinges on them sweeping this series and keeping themselves in the thick of the NL West race. If they were to get swept or lose the series, they’d be staring at a long way back. But with a sweep, they can get two games within the Dodgers.
The NL West race is also their best bet at a playoff spot. Nobody in the west is over .500 in their last 10 games. The D-Backs and Rockies are 5-5 while the Giants are 4-6 and the Dodgers are 3-7. A big run here by the Giants would instantly throw them to the top of the Divisional race. Just look at the Rockies. They were dwindling, but went and won three straight and are now just a game back of the division lead. The Giants can do the same thing with a big run here in the coming weeks.
But again, it starts with a sweep. It starts with ensuring last night’s heavy effort to come back wasn’t pointless. And again, I’m skeptical. So prove us wrong.