“All or nothing,” Mauricio Dubon said Saturday night about the Giants’ Sunday.
It’s mostly correct, with the club having one more game to play. What it omits is the time variable, the possibility that San Francisco’s fate is not decided until Monday.
A chaotic day in Major League Baseball will begin all at once about noon West Coast time, the Giants needing a win and help to reach the postseason. The Giants’ playoff odds, which Fangraphs pegged at about a coinflip a day prior, are down to 23 percent. They will need to beat the Padres behind Drew Smyly — the Giants are 4-0 in his starts — while San Diego goes with Adrian Morejon in what will be a bullpen game for a club with a sealed postseason fate.
The Giants (29-30) no longer control their own destiny and would need a victory and the Brewers to lose to the Cardinals to safely enter October as the No. 8 seed. If they win and the Brewers win, those three clubs would be .500, but St. Louis would be 29-29 and be forced to play makeup game(s) against the Tigers on Monday. Because the Brewers and Cardinals own tiebreakers against the Giants, the Cardinals would need to lose both ends of the doubleheader for San Francisco to get into the postseason, with the Dodgers awaiting the 8 seed.
The best bet for the Giants is a win and Brewers loss, Milwaukee throwing Brett Anderson in St. Louis against Austin Gomber.
As fun and terrifying as scoreboard-watching can be, the Giants need to watch the Oracle Park scoreboard. They have watched two games slip away Friday and Saturday, the first in excruciating, last-inning fashion with Sam Coonrod on the mound, the second as their bats lacked a big hit. They had been in control, and now they would need assistance to play a best-of-three in Los Angeles.
Just about everyone will be available for the Giants, including Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb. Gabe Kapler opted to start Austin Slater at DH against the lefty Morejon and Darin Ruf in left field, ensuring they will see at least one southpaw. Alex Dickerson will be in the wings. As will Donovan Solano, who’s been in a slump and will watch Wilmer Flores start at second base.
Here’s the lineup the Giants will go with as their season hangs in the balance:
1. Austin Slater, DH
2. Mike Yastrzemski, RF
3. Darin Ruf, LF
4. Wilmer Flores, 2B
5. Brandon Belt, 1B
6. Evan Longoria, 3B
7. Mauricio Dubon, CF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Joey Bart, C