It is twelve days until the trade deadline.
The second half of the season starts with the Giants in L.A. for four and Arizona for three. Unlike last year and the first half of this season, we know the starting rotation for the games in L.A. There will be no bullpen game.
Carlos Rodon, Logan Webb, Alex Wood and Alex Cobb will start against the nemesis. Could we finally be seeing <gasp> a rotation? of four starting pitchers? for the rest of the year?
I’ve been writing here about discomfort a lot of older fans and traditionalists have with methods of The Zaidi/Kapler Era. Not having a starting rotation is one that has really troubled me. It’s why I keep a record of the “bullpen games” (The Giants are 5 – 4, in those this year, by the way).
I welcome a regular rotation. If we rotate four starters, then, in the event of the need for a fifth starter, have that game be a bullpen game, I would understand it. I sincerely believe starting pitching benefits from the regularity. I think guys like to know when they will be due up in advance. It creates rhythm not only for each starter but for the staff as a whole.
The Giants lead the season series 3 – 2, after the sweep of the Dodgers they pulled off at Oracle in June. The Bums meanwhile are a little banged up and Clayton Kershaw and others will be coming off short rest from the All-Star game on Tuesday. Hopefully we can catch them with a hangover from the party, and steal a split.
The Giants and D-backs are tied 3 – 3 so far. It is time for us to start getting dominant wins against them and Colorado, separating ourselves from the bottom of the division. I expect Evan Longoria to homer in Arizona – he likes that yard when the roof is closed – and to figure prominently in those games now that he has returned from the IL.
After the road trip, it’s four games at home against the Cubs and four more against the Dodgers. We will face the nemesis eight times in the next fifteen games.
We stay in town for a brace across the Bay with the A’s, then it’s off to San Diego for three – a very chill five game roadie, after which we come home for three with Pittsburgh and four more with Arizona.
That’s a nice, soft set of 20 games all in California. We have to beat the teams that are not in contention, convincingly, and take sweeps as possible.
The Giants start the second half with a pretty winnable schedule. I can see us taking six from Arizona, both from Oakland, three from Chicago, two from the Pirates, and, at least one down in San Diego and maybe four from the Dodgers. That would be going (18 – 9) over the stretch before the next big road trip. I’d love to see us take seven or even eight from Arizona, take two from San Diego, and sweep Pittsburgh. These are achievable goals.
The next big road trip starts on the 19th of August and includes Colorado, Detroit and Minnesota – another winnable stretch. But that bring us to a very tough part of the season, starting around Labor Day, when the Giants will have to play San Diego and Philadelphia (at home); The Bums, Milwaukee and Chicago Bears (on the road); and then Atlanta and the Bums again (back at home). whew. That’s the stretch that could do us in.
That’s August 29th to September 18th:
Padres, Phillies, Dodgers, Brewers, Cubs, Braves and Dodgers again.
Time to separate the playoff contenders from the playoff pretenders.
The All-Star game is behind us and the dog days lie ahead.
Let’s Go Giants! Let’s go on a tear and start the second half racking up wins!
Let’s Go Giants!