If you’re not afraid of the Giants, you should be. You don’t win three titles in five years by accident. However they do it — by digging up veterans like Marco Scutaro and Cody Ross who turn into postseason heroes or turning unheralded prospects like Joe Panik and Matt Duffy into solid contributors — they manage to make it work. Right now, they have one good starting pitcher (okay, very good), and even though the Dodgers had a 3.5 game lead headed into this series, you still couldn’t feel comfortable. You just couldn’t.
It’s still not over. Not when there’s another game tonight, and four more head-to-head in San Francisco at the end of the month. But man, if you don’t feel good about beating the Giants in 14 innings on Monday — oh hey, nine one-run innings from that much-maligned bullpen — or Zack Greinke outdueling Madison Bumgarner last night — oh hey, lefty-on-lefty crime from Joc Pederson — man, I just don’t know what to tell you.
Check out the Baseball Prospectus divisional title odds:
That’s a 94/6 advantage for the Dodgers. That’s up from 72/24 on Aug. 24. (The Diamondbacks were making some small noise at the time.) Obviously, this guarantees nothing, especially in the playoffs. You wonder if Yasiel Puig makes it back and if Yasmani Grandal can overcome his shoulder injury and if there will be enough offense and how the bullpen will react in October, though that’s been so clearly improved lately. (Over the last 14 days, the Dodger bullpen has a 1.62 ERA, and while that’s a stupidly small sample size, the playoffs are a stupidly small sample size.)
It’s not over. But it feels pretty close. I remember the doom-and-gloom from two weeks ago when the Dodgers had that disastrous swing through Oakland and Houston, and even from last weekend when they were no-hit for the second time in nine days. Imagine what a nightmare scenario it would be if the Giants had won the first two games, to make the NL West a 1.5-game affair headed into tonight. Take how awful you would have felt then, and apply the inverse amount of emotion to feel joy about this. This is pretty good.
If the Dodgers lose every non Kershaw/Greinke start the rest of the year the Giants need to go 18-12 to force a playoff
— A Chicken Puppet (@realandrewgrant) September 2, 2015
Yep. It’s not impossible. The Giants are down, but not out. Could definitely still happen. But for all of you who wanted this team to “show you something,” well, they have. Cubs are a good team. Giants are a good team. Dodgers just took both series, after taking a series against a bad team in Cincinnati. Good things are happening. Appreciate them.