Could the Giants Have a Winning Record in August? + Looking to September
It is August 28th, and the San Francisco Giants just beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 behind a complete-game, three-hit shutout by Jeff Samardzija. Thanks to this superb effort, the team now only remains 5 games back of the Padres, for the coveted position of 4th place in the NL West.
They also now sit 40 games behind the Dodgers for the lead in the division.
Yeah, this sucks.
After a rollercoaster ride of a season in 2016, that ended with the team being eliminated by the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, many expected the Giants to compete for the crown in the NL West. I was among those fooled into thinking this season would be a fun one, but on the bright side, the team is now competing for the chance to go over .500 during a month for the first, and probably only, time this season. The team is 13-13 so far in August, with only three days left to play. So, I might as well take this opportunity to look at the success the team has found this month, while I am still hopeful that they might win two out of the three next games.
During the last 30 days, the team has enjoyed some solid pitching from Jeff Samardzija and Chris Stratton. Samardzija has 4 wins in his last 6 starts with a 3.05 ERA, and Stratton has a 1.52 ERA in his last 4 starts. Bumgarner has been his normal self, posting a 2.25 ERA in his last 6 starts, but has suffered from a lack of run support during his last few starts. Even Matt Moore threw a quality start in his last time on the mound. Kyle Crick has been effective out of the bullpen, and looks like a candidate to be a mainstay in the bullpen next year. Sam Dyson has been exceptional since joining the team, and Mark Melancon has not allowed a run since his return from the DL.
The hitting on the team has been spotty during the month of August. They have been held under 2 runs 8 times this month, but have also scored more than 6 runs 7 times. This goes to show that the team's offense has been hit or miss this month. The team has enjoyed solid offensive months from Joe Panik, Gorkys Hernandez, and Hunter Pence. All three of them have hit over .300 this month and Brandon Crawford also had a hitting streak of 10 games. Ty Blach has even been doing his best Madison Bumgarner impression at the plate, as he has his .375 this month with one homerun and four RBIs.
The team has won 13 games in a month for just the second time this season, which is incredibly sad when you consider how hopeful we all were about this team coming into this year, but there is still an opportunity for the team to have some success. The Giants have the unique opportunity of playing in the same division as the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, both of whom are in line to secure a spot in the Wild-Card game. The Giants have two more series with each of them before the end of the season, which gives us the opportunity to play spoiler and potentially knock one of them out of the playoffs.
Who knows, maybe the Giants can win a couple games against the Rockies and the Brewers can take the second wild card spot, then beat the Diamondbacks, and then pull off a huge upset against the Dodgers. If we can’t win the World Series this year, then no other team in our division should either.
This however, is only possible if the Giants can keep their heads above water during the last few weeks of the season. Maybe they can clinch a winning record this month and then carry the momentum into September.
Knowing our luck this season though, we are going to lose the next three games, therefor losing our shot at a winning record for a month, then win less than ten games next month.
Oh well, there’s always next year...