Rivalries mean more when teams are competing. That's why, over the past few years, some of us, who might never regularly do so, end up watching a Yankees v. Red Sox series. Or two. Or three. For some time, Giants haven't had that kind of series against the Dodgers. Sure, playing the Dodgers was never going to be easy--but while they managed to fit Clayton Kershaw into each series (or it least it seemed that way), they weren't going to make a run for the National League West. They were just going to make it difficult for some other team--such as the Giants.
This year, it's different. The Dodgers are three games up on the Giants coming into San Francisco for a three game series. You know what that means.
Of course, it's June, so counting up games-back in the division standings doesn't quite mean what it does in August or September and all those other caveats...I'd keep typing, but I know what you're thinking. Sweep. Nothing like crushing the Dodgers and marching to the top (albeit with a tie) of the division. As we all know, the A's just swept the Dodgers, and the Giants almost swept the A's, so there's got to be some kind of syllogism that guarantees success.
Except that there isn't. A quick look at the Dodgers' lineup shows that Matt Kemp isn't back yet. That's a good sign for the Giants. So don't look at the probable pitchers, lest--
6/25: Eovaldi (0-3, 2.35 ERA) v. Zito (5-5, 4.35 ERA)6/26: Kershaw (0-1 against Vogelsong) v. Vogelsong (6-3, 2.41 ERA)6/27: Billingsley (4-6, 4.15) v. Lincecum (nothing to see here)
So you had to look. The Dodgers rolled the dice and miss Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain. Well, think sweep all you want, but if the Giants gain a game out of this series, that's a victory, too.
You just have enough time to start collecting your thoughts and then it cuts to the part where the swings are in sync, and...what was I saying?
Oh, of course, during the month of June, Brandon Belt has posted a .340/.463/.642 slash line. This is the kind of GIF that makes you think that there will be more of that, and less of the uneven part of his season.