After spending most of the season languishing in the middle of the pack, the Giants are raising our hopes here in the final two weeks of the season. Seasoned fans know not to get too excited -- we've had our hearts broken before -- but at least we now have a good chance of finishing the season ahead of the hated Los Angeles Dodgers.
No wonder the Giants have started playing well -- they finally have (almost) the lineup they should have had at the start of the season. I've heard a lot of speculation that if they had this lineup (probably plus J.T. Snow) from the start, they would have dominated the NL West (not that this is saying much, admittedly).
With an elimination number ("Magic Number" from San Diego's point of view) of 7, it still seems unlikely that the Giants will be able to catch the Padres, although playing them four times in the final eleven games gives us a chance, and those should be four very good games next week. And for anyone who says it's not right for a baseball team to make the playoffs with a losing record (which could still happen with either the Giants or Padres, I think), I will point to the 1993 season when the Giants went 103-59, winning more games than any other team in MLB except the blasted Atlanta Braves and did not make the playoffs. The Baseball Gods still owe us for that one.