Beat reporters Maria Guardado (SF) and Juan Toribio (LA) collaborated to say it best in, One Week to Win the West, posted tonight to answer FAQs about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry and the last week of the season. Everything is up in the air, but the Giants are up two and our magic number is 5.
Speaking of being up in the air, no other team in the majors went up to Coors Field and swept the Rockies at altitude. The Giants ended the season series with Colorado by doing it twice. The Giants also set a high-water mark for wins in a season against the Rockies, going (15-4) with the sweep.
Kevin Gausman looked focused and very sharp in the final game of the Giants’ last road trip of the season. Though he didn’t get the win because he left with the game tied. Gabe Kapler expertly used lefty/righty bench bats to win the game. An RBI single by Tommy La Stella in the ninth gave the Giants the 3-2 lead. Brandon Crawford tacked on a three-run homer for insurance. The 2021 Giants have hit more home runs than any team in Giants history and lead the National League with 237.
Brandon Belt took a hard pitch to his thumb and hand, which was worrisome. Camilo Doval was on the mound when Silk broke the 2-2 tie, so the rookie got the win. Then 22-year-old rookie from Venezuela, Kervin Castro, who got the 100th win two days earlier, held the Rox scoreless in the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation, to complete the sweep. Giants 6, Rockies 2.
The Giants have our last off day, Monday. Belt will go for an X-ray after the MRI on his hand was non-conclusive. Gabe Kapler will be composing a team to face the Diamondbacks without exhausting guys for the crucial final series against the Padres. This means if the Giants can get ahead by enough runs we may still see players we haven’t seen this season yet, which is crazy to me.
The Giants have used 34 pitchers this year (if you include the one out Austin Slater pitched). That’s the most we’ve ever used in a season, I believe, but haven’t confirmed it yet. It certainly is more than any season in the last decade and a half.
There really was no rotation to speak of this year and we are still unsure who will be pitching in the post-season, which is also kind of crazy to me. What a ride! The Farhan Zaidi Era is like nothing I have ever experienced in 40 years as a baseball fan.
from the FAQs:
“What happens if there’s a tie?
If the Giants and Dodgers are tied atop the NL West after 162 games, they would play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday, Oct. 4, to determine the winner of the division.
Home-field advantage would go to San Francisco, by virtue of the Giants’ 10-9 record in the head-to-head season series. (emph. mine)
The winner of Game 163 would advance to the NLDS, while the loser would host the NL Wild Card Game.
The last time the NL West was decided by a tiebreaker was in 2018, when the Dodgers beat the Rockies, 5-2, in Game 163 at Dodger Stadium.”
But that game eliminated the Rockies from postseason play, whereas in this instance the loser goes on to play red-hot St. Louis in the Wild Card game. The Cardinals have won 16 straight and they have Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado and a secret Giant killer in Kyung Hyun Kim, whom they call, “K-K.” Kim beat the Giants at home and on the road and three-hit our lineup in both games.
In fact, St. Louis will have a decided advantage over whomever they play. The Dodgers and Giants will be struggling daily until the last game to avoid being in the Wild Card, while the Cards can afford to rest whomever they want, or lose as many games as they want, in order to have the strongest possible lineup for the Wild Card play-in. They can bring Kim in long relief if they want.
2021 NL West Standings
whew. Get rest, Giants fans. It’s going to be a wild week.
do laundry, watch the Bums and yell #BeatLA! BeatLA! Beat LA!
Let’s rest Giants, get better Brandon.