Oct 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) celebrates with teammates Marco Scutaro (19) , Pablo Sandoval (48) and Angel Pagan (16) after hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in game five of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants: 10-Game Stretch Crucial to Outcome of Their Season

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The San Francisco Giants have finally made it home after one of the most painful road trips in franchise history.

The Giants went 1-8, thanks in large parts to below average pitching, a shaky bullpen, and an extremely slumping lineup, weighed down by the struggles of Pablo Sandoval, literally and figuratively.

If that doesn’t hurt, consider the fact that the Giants lost three games by one run. If that still doesn’t sting, throw in the fact that two of those losses came via a walk-off hit. If their recent woes still haven’t touched a nerve, the Giants were swept by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. And for the cherry on top, the Giants were the victims of the first no-hitter this season.

Miracles do happen in sports, and while they did have a terrible road trip, a small one went the Giants’ way. In their road trip, they only lost 1.5 games in the standings, and they are only 4.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s not by any means an easy gap to make up, but overcoming it is definitely possible.

One could argue that these next 10 games before the All-Star break could determine the fate of the Giants’ season and if they have a chance at bringing home their third NL West championship in the last four years.

This 10-game stretch — six at AT&T park, followed by four on the road — can help forget about the dismal trip the Giants struggled through. It includes seven games within the NL West, three at home against L.A. (beginning tonight) and four in San Diego, in which is regarded as the Giants’ second home. In between is a three-game set against the 35-47 New York Mets.

These 10 games should have a September-like feel to them, and if the Giants can go 6-4 or even 7-3 and get some momentum heading into a three game set with the Diamondbacks at home following the All-Star break, San Francisco and its fans will know that they are right in the hunt to win the West.

And if they go 3-7 and fall seven or eight games out of first? You could all but kiss the season goodbye.

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