The Giants are done in 2017, but three of their NL West competitors – Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers – are far from out of it. While the Dodgers hold a 9.5 game lead in the NL West, the Diamondbacks and Rockies are in position to compete in the NL Wild Card game.
Regardless, with two games against the Rockies and three apiece in Arizona and Los Angeles left this season, third base coach Phil Nevin pointed out to Marty Lurie on Sunday that the Giants can still give their contending division rivals a run for their money.
“We know we can still have an impact on what the season is, not only for us going forward, but the teams we’re playing,” Nevin said. “These games are important, all of them are important for baseball, but obviously for us too.”
Before the regular season, the Giants were predicted to win 88 games in 2017. Instead, they are nearing their second 100-loss season in franchise history, the first coming in 1985. Add on injuries to major contributors such as Madison Bumgarner, Mark Melancon and Buster Posey, this season was not what the Giants expected.
“You talk about ups and downs, we’ve had some downs and that tends to wear on you,” Nevin said. “We still go out there every day, put our work in, try to make everybody better and win a baseball game.”
Although the Diamondbacks and Dodgers are more or less secure in their respective playoff spots, the Giants can still jeopardize the Rockies’ spot in the Wild Card race. The Rockies went 12-15 in August, which allowed the Brewers to creep within three games of Colorado. The Giants can tighten the Wild Card standings by taking their two games against the Rockies on Tuesday and Wednesday.
When the Giants travel to Arizona, they have the chance to slow down the Diamondbacks after their 13-game winning streak earlier this month. Likewise, the Giants can ensure the Dodgers, who have won all but one of their last six games since the 11-game losing steak, head quietly into the postseason.
At the very least, the Giants can end their rough year on a high note. This is a season that the Giants and their fans hope to quickly forget and move on from. Besting these contending teams points the Giants in the right direction heading into the offseason.
To listen to the full interview, check out the podcast below and skip to 0:20 for Nevins on the season’s end.