Wouldn’t you know it, Giants Nation? I got into a sports argument at the bar on my birthday.
That’s right: Some schmuck tried to say — in the middle of the Giants’ battle for that 8-3 victory in Colorado — that it’s impossible to watch baseball once football season starts.
I told him it’s perfectly easy to watch both. Dude told me I “was wrong about that.”
Wrong? Me?! Mr. Over-40-and-needing-to-lose-the-ponytail had picked the wrong little blonde to start a sports debate with.
And, even after a mere minute of debating, when he backed down and pretended like he wasn’t licking his wounds — stupid sap — I was still a little irked that this fellow dared talk down to me. Needless to say, I was seeing red.
Kind of like the Gigantes heading down to Arizona and facing those red-clad D-backs this weekend?! (I bet you didn’t think I could tie in my bar story into the Giants did you?)
Despite a cushy — yes, cushy is a word, dammit — 7-1/2 game lead over whats-their-faces down in LA, you can bet that there is still plenty of reason to stay competitive and hungry as ever.
So pull up that bar stool, pour yourself a Pumpkin Spice Ale, and let’s look at the all these rouge-wearing rivals our boys in Orange & Black are going to be facing:
Snake Watch: Last time we met the Diamondbacks (71-72) they took 2-of-3 on our home turf, and there was an exchange of some choice words between infielder John McDonald and the Kung Fu Panda.
Those sneaky snakes might be 10 games back in the West, but they’ve also taken 7-of-12 games against the Giants this season. On the other hand, the Giants have been dominant on the road, scoring an average of 5.26 runs. (Highest in the Majors. Chew on that, you red-jersey’d D-backs you.)
And while we’re on the subject of teams in red jerseys:
Red Skies In October: Watch and listen to any player interviews as of late, and they’ll insist that they aren’t letting the thought of playing in the post-season get to their heads. Just taking things one series at a time, if you will.
Bay Area sports writing great Ray Ratto, on the other hand, is already looking at potential opposing pitching staffs for October.
A Nationals rotation sans Stephen Strasburg? A Reds team prepped to clinch the Central? (A little trivia for you: The Reds won the Central in 2010, only to fall to the Phillies in the NLDS, who the Giants then beat in the NLCS to head to the World Series.)
Being a bit on the superstitious side, I’ll leave the October predictions to Mr. Ratto before I jinx anything.
Now, that’s not to say I’m not still looking at what seasonal accolades might be coming the Giants way:
MVPosey: Even with the Pirates’ post-season hopes fading fast, outfielder Andrew McCutchen’s stats are still staggering. And the Brew Crew’s Ryan Braun is — arguably — having a better season than he did in 2011, not that he’s getting much credit for it.
But neither of them have come back from a horrific season-ending leg injury to lead the league in on-base percentage (.470), slugging percentage (.658), and batting average (.393) since the All-Star break.
And 21 home runs. And 15 game winning RBIs.
Of course, when reporters ask Buster Posey if he’s thinking about potentially winning NL MVP, he keeps it tam-focused and say that the goal as of late is to make it to the playoffs.
But the thought of being the first catcher to win NL MVP since Johnny Bench in 1972?
You know it’s crossed his mind at least once. Maybe twice.
Hit me up on Facebook at “You Know You Bleed Orange & Black When. . .” to talk up the G-men — or talk smack about any of our division rivals. I always enjoy a good meme that berates those second-place fellows down in LA.
Peace, Love and Snake-Stompin’ Season. Peace.