August 17, 2011
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You had the better part of Monday and all day Tuesday -- make that Black Tuesday. You absorbed the crushing loss Monday and the impending feeling of disabled-list doom, a reality realized first thing Tuesday. And as Tuesday's shadows grew longer and darker, you saw another and another and another of your guys go down.Then, as if the baseball gods -- or, as our own Mr. Ray (of Sunshine) Ratto suggested, the devil himself -- were, um, hell-bent on letting you know you'd hit rock stinking bottom, you got clapped in the ear with a metal rake in the form of another walk-off loss, in extra innings no less.
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The despair with which you've dealt, Giants fans, has been justified beyond a doubt.But your time for wallowing in the self-pity that comes with overexposure to doom, gloom and talk of the trainer's room comes to an end as of Wednesday's first pitch in Atlanta.
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There is but one direction to go from rock bottom, and now is the time to starting thinking in that direction.Why? Several reasons. The first being that what you've been feeling for the past 48 hours is unhealthy. Obsess on the negative for too long and you cease to be a fan. You become Robert De Niro in "The Fan."Reason two is the National League West standings. Your boys are 3 12 games out of first place with considerably more than a month of baseball to play. That's chump change, and please don't use that phrase as a springboard to the obvious joke sitting there on a tee for you about the current state of San Francisco's offense. That's unhealthy, too.RELATED: Ratto -- Giants down, but not out
Reason three: the remaining schedule. After wrapping up in Atlanta, the Giants face exactly one team left in that month-plus with a winning record, and that team is the team they're chasing, the out-of-their-tree-right-now Diamondbacks.
Granted, your guys haven't exactly been bounding joyously atop the allegedly soft spots of the schedule of late, but remember, that was while they were headed for Black Tuesday and rock bottom. For reason four, we return to those Diamondbacks. You don't really think they're going to keep playing this well, do you? Come on. Their next five games alone are against Philly and Atlanta, and you only get one beat-Roy-Halladay-with-an-epic-ninth-inning-rally a year. They will come back to earth as sure as the Giants will start climbing from the earth's core.Or did you not notice that they have exactly two starting pitchers who'd be in the Giants' rotation, and maybe three relievers who'd have get a sniff out of the Giants' bullpen?Sure, Arizona's offense looks like a juggernaut comparatively, but it is one Justin Upton slump from looking meek, and Upton has been smoking-hot for a good three months now. It's not easy to keep up that pace, particularly when engaged in a pennant race with an entire team on your 23-year-old shoulders.So now let's wrap up this admittedly and purposely glass-half-full exercise with reason No. 5: drama.The Giants have shown time and again that they absolutely thrive on it. They create ungodly messes for themselves and delight in the cleaning up. Well, this is about as messy as it's going to get, and while it sure would be nice to have Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez and Carlos Beltran and Sergio Romo and a No. 5 starter worth his ankle tape, there remain some pretty capable janitors at the ready with mops and buckets.Nate Schierholtz will not be out long. The law of averages tell you there has to be at least one really good month of baseball inside Aubrey Huff, Cody Ross and Miguel Tejada. Brandon Belt, as long as they stick with him, will chip in. Pablo Sandoval is dying for his close-up. Oh, and those guys on the mound will help some, too.It's always darkest before dawn, we're told. Well, in this case the opposite could prove true. It was dark as dark gets at dawn -- heck, at noon -- on Wednesday, and that means it can't get any darker.