San Francisco Giants Have Entered the Postseason Trials


If 2014 wasn’t entertaining enough for Major League Baseball, 2015 is in for a treat these next couple months. Deemed with one of the hardest August schedules that we have seen in quite some time, the San Francisco Giants face their biggest obstacles in the last five years. You’d think that was coming the Giants way.

Not disregarding the difficulties to win three titles in the last five years, but the Giants are facing an August schedule that is a scorcher, with all their opponents, besides the Atlanta Braves, trying to put on the gas pedal to reach the playoffs.

Familiar teams from the past couple seasons, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Dodgers, continue to stick around. But there have been some new teams that haven’t occupied the playoffs for close to a decade, like the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.

More from Golden Gate Sports

The Cubs have been the hottest team in baseball as of late, and they completely embarrassed the defending champions in a four-game sweep in the Windy City. The Giants have a shot of redemption on their home turf to send the Cubs back to their mother bears.

Joe Maddon has been the most exciting story for the Cubs this season, as he came over from the Tampa Bay Rays and developed that franchise on pitching and small ball. While the optimism has been high for the Cubs, you’d think their recent mojo will soon collapse. Right?

It is August 17th, and honestly, anything can happen over the last 45 games in the regular season.

The Cardinals have been a foe to the Giants and have been in their path for two of the three championships. And appear to be knocking on the Giants’ door once again, with some redemption in mind.

More from San Francisco Giants

Clint Hurdle for the Pirates, however, has the Pirates competing once again, looking more crisp than last season, and an ace in the making with Gerrit Cole. In the Wildcard play-in game, Giants caught a break to face Edinson Volquez instead, and the Giants kept the Jolly Roger in the Pittsburgh port.

The Pirates appear to be back in position to make the playoffs, and could give the Giants a little trouble this month.

Then, there is the rival down in Southern California that always provides excitement and competitiveness among the players and fans. With a two-headed monster in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, the Dodgers are capable of holding off the defending champions and forcing the men in Orange in Black to earn one of the two wild card spots.

The Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, and Dodgers may be frightful on paper, and their record shows it as of lately. But the Giants are frightful in another way — understanding the team.

Recently, Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s writer, Ray Ratto, put out an excellent article on the state of the Giants, and essentially explaining, that you cannot figure out this team, and jokingly went on to say that you’ll need a bottle of wine watching them play. He would go on to explain when the Giants are down, you think they are out of it, and miraculously pull folks back to believing. Once they’re believable, they resort back to rough times. This can be via injury or lack of performance. What the Giants bring is not explainable and cannot be deciphered. They won’t disappear.

If there is one thing the Giants have proved in the last five years, it is their resilience.

Not only have the players been able to step up in big moments, whether it is the rotation, bench play, or one of the fielders, management and the front office have stepped up to the plate.

Never making the flashy move, the Giants have come up in the clutch knowing what to add to enhance the roster to make their postseason push. All three championships were never expected by the writers and other media. They thought 2010 was a fluke and would not happen again.

Names like Cody Ross, Travis Ishikawa, Michael Morse, Marco Scutaro, Joe Panik, and Jake Peavy have answered the call to step up when the Giants needed it.

One thing that can never be bought is chemistry, and the boys in Orange and Black certainly know how to mine and discover what chemistry they need.

Aug 16, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) reacts after catching a ball hit towards him during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Coming home from a brutal road trip in Texas, Atlanta, and Chicago, the Giants made fans forget what happened. Facing the Astros for two games and the Washington Nationals for four, the Giants finished the home-stand with an impressive 5-1 record, and a sweep of the melting Nationals’ ball club. Beating up on the Astros and Nationals has to feel good for the team that failed to get production in all the games at Wrigley Field.

One can’t entirely blame the lack of performance on the Giants, as the surging Cubs have been the hottest and best team as of late. The Giants missed on opportunities and didn’t capitalize.

There is some additional good news that the Giants can be thankful for. After a back injury that landed Panik on the DL with no definite return date, the Giants bench should be getting extra help with Andrew Susac returning, sending Hector Sanchez back to Sacramento. Mike Leake, the acquired starter from the Reds at the trade deadline is also rumored to make an appearance this week, with a start coming on Tuesday against the Cardinals.

Brought in to boost the rotation, Leake only had one start before landing on the DL. But he is familiar with the NL Central, where he had previously spent all his years in the big leagues. He may bring some insight to the team on what to expect.

Kelby Tomlinson has been asked to fill in some big shoes to replace the Giants’ All-Star second baseman and certainly hasn’t disappointed.

Sitting at 2.5 games out of the division and 3.5 games back of the Cubs, the Giants are in good position to get active. With a clear head, the Giants give the ball to Chris Heston, who hopes to continue the magic that occurred in the four-game series against Bryce Harper and the Nationals.

If Madison Bumgarner‘s start on Sunday didn’t get Giants’ fans pumped up and add a jolt of refreshment, time to start gulping now, as the ace looks locked in playoff form and guys are returning for the home stretch. Let the trials begin!

Next: San Francisco Giants and the Matt Cain Dilemma