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Rewind to July 10. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks that day, blanking them 4-0 to earn their 57th win of the year, which just so happened to lead the league. Yes, the Giants had more wins than the Cubs just a couple of months ago, but memory of that moment is getting more distant by the day. That’s because, since the All-Star break ended and the second half of the season began, the Giants have been one of the worst teams in the game. They’re just 22-37 since that time, and saw their 6.5 game lead over the Dodgers slip back into a five-game deficit.
The Giants are barely clinging to a wild card spot after splitting a series with the Cardinals, who just so happen to be chasing San Francisco in the standings. They’re only one up on St. Louis, and the Cards get to face the Rockies and Reds during seven of their remaining 13 games. The Giants, on the other hand, still have six games against the Dodgers, and while they also get four against the Padres, San Diego has swept the Giants twice in the second half of the year. Things are not looking great.
The Giants aren’t yet doomed, though. Yes, their record over the last two-plus months is a disaster, but they’ve only been outscored by nine runs in that time, so they’re probably closer to mediocre than putrid. Over the two weeks remaining in the season, that kind of difference can matter a whole lot, or not at all, depending on how rude baseball is feeling. The point, though, is that the Giants probably aren’t the team that led the league in wins, and they probably aren’t their horrible second half, either. If they can live somewhere in between for the rest of their schedule, they just might sneak into a playoff appearance.
- The Giants aren’t the only team having a rough go of things lately, as the Blue Jays dropped from first place to four games back in the AL East in about two weeks, with the last of that damage coming from a series loss to the Angels.
- Hanley Ramirez also didn’t help the Jays much, as four homers — including two on Sunday — helped power the division-leading Red Sox to a sweep of the Yankees.
- A swarm of bees interrupted the Angels and Blue Jays, so maybe Toronto has angered the baseball gods somehow.
- Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer called a beat writer a "coward" after said beat writer didn’t show up to work a day after writing that the Indians were done following Carlos Carrasco’s injury.
- The Orioles lost Steve Pearce for the rest of 2016, and called up rookie Trey Mancini in his place.
- Victor Martinez has been hurting at the plate lately thanks to a bothersome knee injury, and it might be time to shift him down in the order.
- The Nationals got Joe Ross back from the disabled list, and he looked sharp despite the long layoff for a shoulder injury. The Nats will need Ross in the postseason, especially with Stephen Strasburg out with an elbow issue.
- With less than two weeks to go, let’s look at tiebreaker scenarios for the various playoff spots.
- At Baseball Prospectus, they put together a list of prospects they’re excited to see in the Arizona Fall League this year.