Originally posted on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 9/4/12

Yesterday’s game was quite a rollercoaster ride, as illustrated by the win probability graph.

The Giants couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, as Barry Zito set down the top of the Diamondbacks’ lineup in order in the first inning, striking out Aaron Hill and Justin Upton. It was the first time he had recorded two strikeouts in the first inning of a start since July 16, 2010. And then the Giants nearly batted around in the bottom half of the first inning, scoring four runs on five hits. Barry Zito came back out in the second inning and struck out the side. Through two innings, he had five strikeouts — already tied for the second-most of any outing he’s had this season. He was getting whiffs left and right, and he had no trouble throwing strikes. In other words, he looked as sharp as ever.

It had that feel of an easy Giants win, until things gradually fell apart. Zito surrendered a two-run homer in the fifth, and after back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth inning, his day was over. The Giants still had a 4-2 lead at that point, when Guillermo Mota came in to protect the lead. And protect it he did not. By the end of his day, the D’backs had taken a 5-4 lead. George Kontos was then called in to put out the fire, and eventually did, but not before giving up another two runs.

The Giants battled back though, scoring in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and eventually the tenth to win it all on a walkoff single.

I thought at this point in the season, the Giants and D’backs would be neck and neck in the division race. Arizona was the favorite to win the NL West before the season started. Even as recently as late July, I thought Justin Upton would start to find a groove, and late-season call-ups Trevor Bauer and/or Tyler Skaggs would bolster Arizona’s rotation. I figured Arizona, stupidly enough, would pose a bigger threat to the Giants than the Dodgers would. And I was completely wrong.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, and I think it’s somewhere along the lines of: don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Injuries happen. Slumps happen. Even the best of prospects can come up and fail to make an immediate impact (despite what this season’s excellent track record of prospect debuts might have you think). Today, Arizona is eleven and a half games out of first place. Justin Upton’s second-half numbers are virtually identical to his first-half numbers. Stephen Drew and Ryan Roberts are elsewhere. Trevor Bauer is not on the team’s active roster. Baseball.

Aubrey Huff led off the seventh inning with a pinch-hit single. It was the first hit he’s collected in nearly three months. He’s had a wretched season, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll have a decent September. That’s my bold prediction of the month. I don’t think Huff has much left in the tank, but I think he’s certainly got something left; and as we’ve seen time and again, pretty much anything can happen over the period of a month.

With 27 games left on the schedule, the Giants have a 4.5 game division lead. Their magic number has been whittled down to 23. Any combination of 23 Giants wins and Dodgers losses, and the Giants clinch the NL West title. Baseball Prospectus has the Giants’ playoff odds at 94.2%. Cool Standings has ‘em at 92.1%. However you slice it, the Giants are in a really, really good position right now.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Irving believes LeBron leaked word of trade request

Spieth tells caddie to 'get that' after incredible eagle putt

Jerry Jones weighs in on NFL's Ezekiel Elliott investigation

Report: Les Miles 'extremely interested'; in Ole Miss job

Draymond Green, Conor McGregor go at it on Instagram


McFadden missed Cowboys charter flight to training camp

Amari Cooper shows up to training camp looking jacked

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game

WATCH: Tim Tebow blasts home run No. 4 since being promoted

Saban: HS players could start skipping senior seasons

Mike Williams shoots down reports he will need surgery

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker