Led by a resurgent Pablo Sandoval (who homered twice), the Giants’ lineup tagged Colorado pitching for nine runs today. Despite allowing double-digit hits, Barry Zito and company were able to limit the Rockies to two runs on the afternoon. Thus, the Giants completed a four-game sweep. The Dodgers lost 4-1 to the Nationals tonight, meaning the Giants’ magic number currently sits at three.
Three. Any combination of three Dodgers losses and Giants wins from this point until the end of the season — that’s all it will take for the Giants to seize the NL West title. Needless to say, they’ve got this one in the bag. The sooner they clinch, the sooner they can relax — and that’s a real luxury; clinching, of course, would afford the Giants the opportunity to rest important contributors without having to worry about the win-loss column, and that would constitute a real, if small, advantage. (On the blogging side, too — I’d get to focus my attention on slightly less important matters, like Buster Posey‘s MVP case).
— It still sort of boggles my mind how easily the Giants have run away with the West. Not to be taken for granted: they’re 23-10 in the post-Melky era.
— Pablo Sandoval, in a matter of four days, has increased his OPS by 40 points. From May 2nd to September 18th, a three-and-a-half month span over which he started 70 games, Sandoval homered exactly three times; he’s homered three times in the past two days. Well, that’s an encouraging sign…
— As you may recall if you’re one of the two people that frequent this blog, I boldly predicted that Aubrey Huff would have a decent September. In retrospect, I’m not sure that was all that bold a prediction. Nevertheless, here’s an update on Huff’s September numbers: 4 for 7, 1 BB, 1 2B. I’d have to think he’s going to be on the Giants’ NLDS roster, which really isn’t such a bad thing. There’s plenty of reason to believe he gives the Giants a good left-handed bat off the bench, and he’s certainly proven that this month (albeit in a minuscule sample size).
— This is a lengthy matter, and I won’t delve into it now, but assuming the Giants go far enough in the playoffs, I would love to see Melky Cabrera return. (Though if I had to guess, I’d say the Giants aren’t going that route.)