26 Guys One Common Goal: Now That We Know Who They Are, the San Francisco Giants are a Viable Wildcard Contender, After Sweep of Pirates Brings Them Back to .500 with Snakes Coming to Town

Wow. Tonight’s game, that ended on the Thairo Estrada walkoff home run, definitely had the feel of 2010. Bam. Said it. The Giants could get hot at just the right time. The team we will be fielding from here out is coming into focus, and they working together much better.

The Giants swept the Pirates in a game where they had to come back twice. Logan Webb went eight last night. Rodon manhandled ’em Friday. Yaz and LaMonte have been showing up at the plate. Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford are back. Everybody is focused and we know who we are. Turns out, we’re a pretty good team.

If we were to make the playoffs, nobody should want to play us. That is something I didn’t think I’d be saying, given how crazy the year has been, but it’s legitimate. I don’t think we’re a contender, but we are a viable wildcard team. And if we get in, I think we are dangerous. Kudos to management for that belief.

The Starters

Carlos Rodon, Logan Webb and Alexes Cobb and Wood would be our starters for postseason. Our bullpen has been the second source of all the trouble this season (after the defense, which has been nightmarish, but probably more a result of using so many different players in the field). But weaknesses in the ‘pen will be mitigated by dropping to the 26-man roster. Selection will be critical.

In order of who makes it on my list: Obviously Jakob Junis, who could start. Then in my opinon, the guys worth taking to the playoffs are Dominic Leone, Tyler Rogers, Camilo Doval, Zach Littell, and if we can get them back, and they are as good as when they left, Mauricio Lloveras and Jose Alvarez. If we can get Jarlin Garcia in there, okay, but if we take John Brebbia, I am calling it a mistake.

It is true Brebbia did the heavy lifting in the ‘pen this season. He was thrust into seemingly impossible situations in the way you would send out your fifth starter. But he just cannot possibly hang with postseason mlb in high pressure circumstances. I say leave John Brebbia off.

The Catchers

Everybody knows I support carrying three catchers. It was what failed us in the irregular season: not having a third catcher. Right now Curt Casali is gone. Woah. So Buster Posey is gone and Casali is gone.

We technically have three catchers, but Yermin Mercedes wouldn’t make my post-season team, so it looks like it’s Joey Bart and Austin Wynns. That could be a weakness.

We hoped Yermin Mercedes could be third catcher and a bat, but it hasn’t looked good. If we had dealt for Willson Contreras, it might have helped but it’s academic, and it’s arguable, fairly, that it wouldn’t have been worth it – justifiable.

It is a definitive decision by current management, though, so I like it. I’ll be happy to be wrong that our modern game doesn’t need to carry three catchers.

The Bats

Joc Pederson has struggled to wake up his bat since the All-Star break. He needs to meet with Barry Bonds again. Everybody knows what happened last time they sat down and rapped. Wilmer Flores is a rock. Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade, Jr. seem to have found form. Tommy La Stella also seems to be looking, in his own patient way, for a stroke that could be timely.

It’s good to see Brandon Crawford back out there, but he is going to be a liability at the plate for much of August as he eases back into short. Evan Longoria looks great. I am excited to see what Longo brings in what could be his last season. Brandon Belt has been paid, in advance through QO, to be there – so please, “Captain,” can you show up? You draw so many walks – which is great – but we need you to smash some extra base hits, son.

Thairo Estrada seized the opportunity of La Stella’s absence to earn a position on the 26-man roster, for sure. Austin Slater, Luis Gonzalez and J.D. Davis are looking really good right now as well. Mr. Zaidi’s subtle move is showing meaningful progression.

count up bold names above, and it’s 26 guys.

I’m turning away from Sam Long and John Brebbia and other guys because I am trying to fine tune. Is there a bat in the minors to take the 26th spot that could put us over the top? Is there a reliever I don’t know about that could take anyone else’s place?

I feel weirdly confident – after all this crazy season has wrought – that we can make a wildcard game. We need to sweep Arizona this week, that’d put me over the top. It’ll be nice to see MadBum again. We gave him one last time with shitty defense, let’s take that one back.

Let’s Go Giants!

Wrangle the Snakes!

Beat AZ!

About mtk

I'm the artist and author, MTK
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