As bad as the Giants have looked for nearly two months, and as bad as they looked today, I still think they can be successful in the playoffs. The series they just lost to the Cubs shows how. Four straight one run games, all of which were the types of games the Giants have won repeatedly in the playoffs. If they can lineup Bumgarner and Cueto to each start twice in the series, they can beat anyone.
One big problem with two problematic scenarios. They don’t currently have a closer that can be counted on. Santiago Casilla is not terrible, but he’s not the kind of lock down guy the Giants rely on. They need a lock down bullpen because this team never has any room for error. And Casilla is the error.
So, that’s the first problematic scenario: that Casilla can’t close. The second is that it’s looking increasingly likely that their playoff participation–if it happens, and the Mets are coming fast–is going to be as a wild card team. That means, most likely, that Bumgarner has to pitch the wild card game. Even if they win, that means they play the Cubs without being able to use their ace more than once. Yeah…they are pretty fucked.
To avoid being fucked, they need to start thinking about other closers. They’ve got 2-3 that could work instead of Casilla. All have their own problems, but all have potential. How about trying them all out and seeing who gets hot? Or closer by committee?
There are 27 games left. 17 are against sub-500 teams. Of the remaining 10, six are against the Dodgers, including the final three of the season at home. It’s still there for the Giants to do this, but they are pretty much out of opportunities to mess up.