Wednesday, August 17, 2011

September 1 Marks the Start of the San Francisco Giants' Playoff Push

Forget about the injuries, forget about the Arizona Diamondbacks, forget even about the fact that the Giants are 2.5 games back in the NL West. The playoff push is not even close to starting yet.

The Giants are a mess. It think we will all agree to that. A few late-inning throw-aways, slew of injuries and the surging Diamondbacks prove that.

Still, San Francisco remains just 2.5 games back after all that with a whole lot of baseball yet to be played.

Several things can happen in the last month of the season. Carlos Beltran and Co. could come back, pitching could continue to carry the team or Arizona could fall back to earth.

However, Beltran has yet to produce significantly as a Giant, pitching cannot carry zero offense for very long and the Diamondbacks seem bound for this year's version of the 2010 Giants.

The playoff push has yet to fully begin, though. September 1 marks that date. That is the time to put your money where your mouth is for baseball teams.

The Giants are poised to do so in September.

Here are two reasons why.

The San Francisco Giants Have Two Series Against the Arizona Diamondbacks

September 2-4 and 23-25 marks that dates the Giants play the Diamondbacks. It does not matter how many games back the Giants are or how many players they have on the DL. If San Francisco can muster four wins during those six games, they should be in good position.

The Giants do not play a single team over .500, other than Arizona, the rest of the season. Of course, that means nothing when several of the Giants' best players are on the DL, but it sure does make it easier.

If the Giants can stick two or three games behind Arizona heading into September, or even closer, there is a great chance San Francisco can pull out on top, given the circumstances.

The circumstances are having a young team like the Diamondbacks playing for everything they have against a Giants team that has been there and done that several times over.

The Giants' motto is not "torture" for nothing.

September 1 Marks the Start of the 40-Man Roster

No team in baseball will welcome the September 1 opening for the 40-man roster more than the San Francisco Giants.

On September 1, rosters expand from 25 players to 40.

That would mean that manager Bruce Bochy would not have to make up fake excuses for Barry Zito or Jonathan Sanchez to go on the DL -- just leave them there.

Up comes Darren Ford, Brandon Crawford, etc.

Brandon Belt has room to stay on the roster and continue producing in this line-up, which means there is no room for excuses to let Aubrey Huff stay at first base.

For how many one-run games the Giants play, having legs like Ford could be huge for San Francisco. Even having a sure-handed shortstop like Brandon Crawford could play dividends down the stretch.

It is what the Giants have been missing, and it is the reason late innings are stressful these days. There is currently no room for Ford, and instead Bochy has to throw a healthy body like Miguel Tejada out there, although his healthy body has never hurt the Giants more.

San Francisco needs change, or maybe a roster move here and there. However, as long as they can stay afloat in the NL West, things will look up for them come September.

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