Ratto: Numbers don't lie for Giants

September 1, 2011, 4:39 pm
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Sept. 1, 2011

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You all realize what you could be staring at come Sunday evening, right? You know what kind of cricket bat across the chops is awaiting if the Giants dont find the cure quickly?Well, try this:NL WEST STANDINGS W L PCT. GB LAST 10Arizona 81 59 .579 ---- 10-0San Francisco 72 68 .514 9 3-7Nine back. With 22 to play. Nine. Twenty-two. The math sucks.Of course, the standings could also read:NL WEST STANDINGS W L PCT. GB LAST 10Arizona 78 62 .557 ---- 7-3San Francisco 75 65 .536 3 6-4
Were just a little suspicious of the powers of the Post-Rowand Euphoria. We have our doubts about the medicinal benefits of the Tejadaectomy. We need to be shown.Look, we know you, and we sympathize. You desperately want to believe the glass if half full, that there is still magic at the Ballpark on the corners of Down In Order and Left On Base. And surround yourselves with like-minded people because, well, why wouldnt you?And you want the standings to reflect that, and in the best-case scenario, they could. Three is doable, Nine isnt. Seven isnt very heartwarming either, and five is cutting it close.But on the likelihood that the happy talk days are over, you must consider the fact that 2010 is a long time gone, and that the Giants have showed you with all the elegance of a rhinoceros horn to the delicates how fleeting glory truly is.I mean, you can name a baby giraffe imported to an amusement park after Brandon Belt all you want, but hes hitting .219. Which is still two points better than the team is hitting its current Home Stand In Hell, but still not the stuff of mammalian legend.And its not like this has been an aberration, either. They have taken good pitchers and made them brilliant, They have taken good pitchers with bad records and made them exemplary. They have taken bad pitchers and made them good.And theyve done this for more than a month, and theyve done it so profoundly that even Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow and Jon Miller and Dave Flemming no longer have it in them to keep pumping the tires. They may be your favorite announcers ever, but they cannot make a grounder to second into a bases-clearing triple.And Lord knows theyve tried. Is Pat Burrell the answer? Cant say that one could make a case for it except that fans love the guy who isnt there. Brett Pill? Until it became clear that Belt still has some rough edges to navigate, nobody was mentioning Pill. They were fixated on Gary Brown, who is still a Single-A player.And while you were dancing gleefully on the departures of Rowand and Tejada and wished only that there could be more to satisfy your administrative bloodlust, the truth is this it's still going to be a very hard pull indeed, and it would have been if Rowand and Tejada had been croaked two weeks ago.They werent the reason for the lesion, in short. They were symptomatic, but the bigger problem was one that could not be averted a lot of important players either getting hurt or, in greater numbers, having significantly poorer years. And Bruce Bochy had long ago run out of creative options to breaking the code on this team.And now the season shakes down to a single pre-Labor Day series because of it. A sweep makes all things possible. Getting swept makes third place possible. In an entire month of This is the biggest series of the year, this is the biggest series of the year. It will define everything the Giants do, and are, from this moment forward.Three, five, seven or nine. It doesnt get any simpler than that.

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