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One Bad Month

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Bad months. You've had them. I've had them. Presidents and mail carriers and software developers have them. The Queen of England once had twelve of them in a row that added up to what she called an "annus horribilis," which you should think about whenever you're having a bad month, because you're juvenile like me and you'll have a good giggle.

The Giants just had a bad month, too. It was really bad, to be sure, full of its own kind of itching and nightmares and GAAAH GET THE BUGS OFF MY SKIN THEY NEVER GO AWAY. 

But one win, then another, then three out of four, or four of six, or seven of ten, and the menses horribilis will be in the rear view mirror. Let's review the 2016 season to date. The Giants had a mediocre month, then two otherwordly months, and now a bad one. (A really bad one.)

If you shook up the order -- first a bad one, then a great one, then a mediocre one, then a great one -- with the same result of the Giants being a game and a half out of first place with 40 games to go, you might be more chipper. Or maybe not, you intractable ghoul.

The point is, a lot of teams would kill to be in this position. Teams like, say, the 2010 Giants, who were six games behind the Padres on August 18, exactly six years ago.

Three of four against the Mets, and the team could be poised to take back the division lead next week in LA. How in the hell can this team, as currently composed (or decomposing), win three of four? Which magic fingers do they snap? Where are these rabbits you propose pulling from hats?

Here, try these Pollyanna glasses: Hunter Pence, Eduardo Nunez and Joe Panik can't hit much worse, and every day Pence and Panik get farther away from the DL. Think what you will of the Matt Duffy trade, but he wasn't hitting before his Achilles injury, and there was no guarantee he would return as the 2015 Duffman. The moves they made were sensible, short-term, on paper. (Now Matt Moore and Nunez and Will Smith just need to follow the instructions on the goddamn paper.)

It made little sense when the best team in baseball went on vacation for a few days but staggered back as if they had been adrift for a week on the Poop Cruise. So let's not twist ourselves into pretzels or anything else trying to reason out the team's possible return to above-averageness.

How much above? Forty two games remain, nine against the Dodgers. Say they go 6-3 against LA and 20-13 against everyone else. That's 92 wins. Unreasonable?

Think of it this way: with that 3-6 record against the Giants, the Dodgers could go 21-13 against everyone else and still lose the division by a game. Essentially, win each of the three series against the Dodgers, then match them against the rest of the league, and the Giants are in, and the one bad month is a distant memory.

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