Ratto: The triumph of the mediocre, and yeah, that's a compliment

The Giants, small sample size, quarantines, empty stadia and blah blah blah
By 95.7 The Game

The San Francisco Giants have a .500 record for the first time in 37 days, which isn't important. What is important is that there are only 19 days and 18 games left in the regular season, which means that they have to maintain this frothy pace and still hope for some luck to do the one thing most sensible people knew they could not do.

Reach the postseason.

Here, it must be noted that your faithful typist was among those who thought them a genuinely terrible team, unworthy of hope. That is still the official stance of this vile little corner of your reading day because once you're in, you're in all the way,m and being wrong contains no penalties. I mean, who really gives a damn in the end except shut-ins, weirdos and morons?

That disclaimer having been offered, the Giants have established that their hideous start has been overcome with a 13-5 run built entirely on the backs of two much worse teams, the hideous Los Angeles Angels and the abominable Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, that is the story of the Giants' season — they were indisputably awful, then they met the teams with the antivenom that allowed them to live.

Well, if that is the trope for Giants 2020, those days are over. No more Angels, no more Diamondbacks. They are 15-6 against teams with losing records, but 11-3 against those two particular mopes. They are also 2-1 against Texas (also awful and also no longer on the schedule), but 2-4 against the Colorado Rockies, their closest pursuer.

So there's your present. They have overcome their own rancid beginning, which is to their credit, but the 18 games are either the proof that they are right or that their naysayers were, and in either event nobody wants to remember 2020 anyway. Small sample size, quarantines, empty stadia, blah blah blah.

The remainder of their tour will test them and the theories surrounding them. First Seattle, the American League's Giants and winners of 11 of their last 14 after starting 8-19. The Mariners aren't in playoff contention because until the National League, you can't suck and a playoff team in the AL, and they too built their run on lousy teams, in this case the Angels and Rangers. Then seven against San Diego and God have mercy on their wretched souls, and three at Oakland and four against Colorado, easily their weirdest team in the playoff clot, which for the record includes St. Louis, Miami, Milwaukee and the New York Mets. Cincinnati is not included despite being only a half-game behind New York because the only pig left on their schedule is Pittsburgh.

In other words, the Giants have done the most remarkable things, yet their job has changed and therefore has barely begun. Remember that they began the year as one of those terrible teams who had no bullpen or defense and a manager with only a casual understanding of the more arcane corners of the rulebook, and escaped to the middle of the mess by playing teams that were actually the kinds of teams they were supposed to be. Thus, we have received a new lesson in the perils of small sample size, and in baseball that is minimally 40 percent of any season. Remember when they were 8-16? No, you don't know, because you're pretending it never happened while setting up your stalker's shrine of Gabe Kapler in the rec room).

But they have now reached the three-quarter pole and the fun, such as it is in this dungheap of a sports year, is just about to start.