So, this happened.
The Giants have started off the second half with a bang, sweeping the non-pesky Astros in a three game series and taking hold of first place over the also non-pesky Dodgers. That would make me happy under any circumstances but since I am heading down to Los Angeles for a family event later this week, it’s pretty much put me in full on the-world-is-a-beautiful-place-and-I-love-absolutely-everyone mode. (Sweeping the Astros has upsides and downsides, evidently.) Family event, see, means lots of Dodger fans. Lots of Dodger fans. Dodger fans everywhere. (In addition to a lone Mariners fan, but he’s irrelevant.) It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the Giants hold on to a tidy division lead through my trip there so I can quietly – or non-quietly, as the case may be – gloat.
It sure looks like they will. They’re not doing everything or blowing the competition out the water, but they’re doing enough of the little things right. They’re playing neater baseball and Tim Lincecum came through in a huge way last night, in what might have been a start for his spot. Bochy, in typical Bochy fashion, was oblique about what would have happened if he’d struggled, but he’s staved that off, if only for a little while. Hector Sanchez one again proved his affection for walk-off hits and although Melky Cabrera is on paternity leave, the rest of the team actually hit. Enough to score runs. Enough to win games. It’s been a pretty fab second half so far.
On Tuesday, East Coast Roadtrip 2.0 will get started, with the Giants hitting Atlanta and Philly. In the visiting-them sense, but also, hopefully, in the hitting-off-of-them sense. Since East Coast Roadtrip 1.0 was pretty much a disaster all around, there’s a lot riding on this one. Although there’s obviously a while to go until the postseason, pulling ahead in July can big indeed later on. Three in a row is making good things look pretty possible at the moment.
I told you I was spouting optimism. I better go before I start reminiscing fondly of the days when Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand peppered the Giants field. I was reminded of them when I experimented with MLB the Show ’11 yesterday and played as the Grizzlies against the ’11 Giants. Let’s just say a Grizzly I’d never heard of took Tim Lincecum deep into the Allegheny River beyond PNC Park. Video games are strange. And no, I’m do not really have fond memories of Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand. Not even close. Even this breed of optimism has limits.