Someone somewhere posted a comparison between where the San Francisco Giants are this year at the All Star break, and where they were in 2010, the year of their first of even-year championships this decade. This year and 2010 are pretty much identical: in fourth place but not very many games back, with a barely winning record.
It's true that the Giants' division is not especially strong this year, but do the Giants have a chance? Probably not. They've got a few very promising young pitchers, but not what they had in 2010. They don't have a dominant closer, as they did then.
But what the Giants this year really don't have that they had then is luck. The Giants were very good in their championship years, but they were also lucky. Fairly nondescript players came through with heroic moments, especially in the post-season. There were players like Cody Ross who had never been that good before, and he never was again.
Now there is a momentum to luck, a belief, when the team gets on another level. It's something that feeds on itself, the fans become part of it, and it's one of those wonders that makes baseball fun. But it also comes and goes.
Luck translates most obviously into staying healthy. And that's partly where the Giants' run of bad luck began at the All Star break two seasons ago, and continues. This year they survived the first half with their three top starters and their star closer injured. Now two of the starters are back and working themselves into form. But the third is injured again, and the closer is not what he was. As for position players, as soon as one comes back, another gets injured. Now it's Joe Panik.
So could the Giants make a run for the division? Sure, it's possible--with luck. Getting deep into the postseason would require even more luck: team of destiny kind of luck, the kind they had in 2010. At least a couple of position players and several pitchers who are having good years will need to be phenomenal in the second half, and those having so-so years will need to be great, or at least have great moments in key games. The talent is there. It could happen. With luck. A lot of luck.
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