Friday, September 26, 2014

Your 2014 Giants Did Not Back Into the Playoffs, They Won Their Way In

I've been reading around that the Giants backed into the playoffs.  Preposterous!

ogc thoughts

The way I've always understood backing in is probably from football, where it makes much more sense, because one game usually separates playoff teams from wait 'til next year teams (of which the 49ers were too much the latter than the former, in my formative years).  In that situation, it is the last day of the season, and you need either a win for your team or a loss on the other to make the playoffs, and what happens is that your team failed to win, so they had to wait for the other team to lose, at which point, they back into the playoffs.

But that is not the case here.   Sure, the Giants technically got in because the Brewers lost.  But irrespective of them winning or losing, the Giants only needed to win one game in this four game series with the Padres in order to make the playoffs.  They did that yesterday, they won their way into the playoffs.

And this is all random circumstance.  If you can go back in time and reschedule the games around differently, with wins and losses, and dates and times, but still the same final result, there will be scenarios where the Giants "win" their way into the playoffs, not "back into" the playoffs.

Now, if it was the last day of the season, and the Brewers' loss put the Giants into the playoffs, but the Giants won later that day, that to me is still technically not "backing in", as again, the random circumstance created that situation.  But I can better understand people saying that, as there was no more games left, and it all happened on the last day of the season.

So I find it insulting that people are referring to it in this fashion and I wonder if it bothers the Giants too.  It denigrates their achievement of winning enough games in the season to make the playoffs.  Remember, there has been 159 games played already, they worked hard to get where they are today, especially getting over the disappointing June Swoon that slid into a July Roller Coaster, until they righted the ship in August, but then limped in September.  It is a marathon which they made it to the end finishing with enough to get into the playoffs, that's not backing in.

I'm OK with Limping In

Speaking of which, I am OK with characterizing this as limping into the playoffs.  That captures the entire picture, as they are only playing .500 ball right now, this month, and people forget in complaining about the team's offense that they have been missing their lead-off hitting (Pagan), #3 hitter (Belt) and #6 hitter (Morse), who was suppose to lengthen out the lineup for them, as they have all been injured.   Most teams missing half of their top hitters tend to not do so well with their offense.

And we are only getting back Belt.  Hopefully he will be enough to for the team to do something in the playoffs.  He will have to be, or maybe somebody can be the Cody Ross of this year's playoffs, and carry the team on his back.

Put on top of that the fact that Sandoval has not been a #4 hitter since his hitting streak ended at the start of August, 42 games, .261/.307/.345/.653 batting line, only 2 HR in 165 AB, only 84 ISO, until his nice game yesterday.   That really killed the offense too, Bochy probably should have swapped him and Pence in the lineup and have Hunter bat 4th while Panda bat 5th (or 6th, really, but all the injuries made that impossible).  
The Panda could have gotten teams hankering to sign him up if he finished up the year the way Hunter did last season, but he came up small until yesterday, when it was too little too late.  Had he been hitting the way he should be, we might have caught the Dodgers at some point, and maybe even still be in contention for the title, though most probably not.   If he can get hot during the playoffs, that will help teams forget, but that was a pretty lame finish to his season, when the team needed him to stand up as a $100M player, and he was no better than replacement level.

2 comments:

  1. Is the pun on "preposterous" for backing in, intentional or serendipitous? (Preposterous = prae [first, before] posterus [coming later], reversed; or, as you say, backing in.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOu give me too much credit. Or maybe my subconscious was working. :^)

      But thanks for pointing it out!

      Delete

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