Giants fans are as emotional and mercurial as any in baseball. When the Giants lose a game or two, they need to be talked off the ledge. Usually it’s a KNBR host doing an intervention
When the Giants win a couple, fans are making playoff plans. They don’t call KNBR after a Giants victory because they feel they have nothing to complain about. They’re happier than the “Suicide Girls” at the tat parlor. ( Full disclosure: I watched that show for about three minutes. The strangest thing on television. )
So, how should Giants fans deal with two very damaging losses in Philadelphia ? The Giants have dropped two games back of the Phillies in the NL Wild Card and six games behind the unstoppable machine that is the Padres in the NL West. It’s August 18th — is the season toast ?
No, of course not. But even fans who aren’t familiar with physics understand the theory of momentum. Mass times Velocity = this is not good, folks.
Some very troubling numbers confront the Giants. Most troubling: their starting rotation, thought to be a strength of the team, has failed to produce a win in 14 games. It resembles most of my poker hands: no ace.
Why has the rotation jammed gears ? Is it the wear-and-tear of August ? Possibly.
Is it the fact that Buster Posey is the catcher ? I find that laughable — the most classic example of short-term memory loss. Has everyone forgotten that the Giants vaulted into playoff contention when Posey took over ?
Also troubling : the Phillies are the hottest team in baseball. They could very well blow by the Braves in the NL East. They’ve won 20 of 25, they dominate at home, they now have Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will be back soon, and they have the previous two years’ experience to draw upon.
If you ask me now, I say either the Phillies or Braves will be the Wild Card team, and one of those teams will win the NL East. The Phillies are a house afire. The Braves are already solid and they just obtained Derrek Lee.
Where does this leave the Giants ? A hopeless case ? No, but they need to find a spark from somewhere very soon, or September becomes less relevant.
It falls upon pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to be leaders, but they don’t have much pennant race experience. Lincecum is lost in the ether and Cain always seems to pitch well enough to not win.
Offensively, the Giants can’t depend on guys like Pat Burrell or Jose Guillen to stay hot. They also need Pablo Sandoval to stop doing his Jose Castillo imitation, they need Aubrey Huff to stop pressing, and they need Freddy Sanchez to at least hit a ball out of the infield.
I understand why Giants fans are verklempt. They’ve seen this movie before. Never mind a 56-year championship drought — the Giants haven’t been in the playoffs in seven years. They’re becoming the Cubs Lite — only without Ron Santo slamming down his headphones.