To say that it has been a tough week for the Giants is an understatement. With tonight's 8-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Giants are now 2-6 in their past 8 games and continue to sit in second place where they have been, with the exception of one day, since May 16.
Crippled by injuries and facing three of the hottest teams in baseball, the Giants entered tonight's homestand 6.5 games behind the Cubs for the second wild card spot and 1.5 games back from the division but tonight's loss and Dodger win make those gaps one game bigger. With two more games against Chicago on this homestand, as well as three against the Cardinals and a trip to Dodger stadium next week, the Giants need to get things clicking before it is too late to recover.
Pundits are always quick to state that there is "plenty of baseball left to play" but the Giants have a difficult schedule ahead of them that includes seven games against their division rival. The Giants will need to win this Cubs series and the Cardinals series that follows if they wish to remain in serious contention going into the final four weeks of the season in Los Angeles.
There's no secret recipe to winning. You can point the finger at pitching which has been inconsistent, save for Mad Bum, or you can point at an ofense that has seemingly dried up, averaging just three runs a game since last Sunday. You can also point to the injuries and their ultimate effect on the lineup. Since Hunter Pence has been on the disabled list, Buster Posey is hitting .120 with one RBI.
There is plenty of blame to be handed around but the Giants have never been a team that looked destined for the World Series and, yet, we all know how that turned out. This homestand may be the ultimate indicator of where the Giants will finish the rest of this season. A sweep by the Cubs would put them 9.5 games back for the second wild card spot and could potentially put them behind Washington, Arizona or San Diego depending on how this week goes for everyone else.
The Dodgers have done their fare share of losing in this past week and the Giants' inability to capitalize on LA's slump may prove to be the straw that breaks this season. It is not too late but there is not a lot of baseball left and the Giants have ended up in a sink or swim situation and, so far, it's not clear which they'll do.
Game two of this series will be Wednesday at 7:15. You can purchase tickets at a discount right here on Scout with your premium membership.