On Aug. 6, the Giants went into Wrigley Field with a half-game lead over the Cubs for the second wild-card spot in the National League. Four days later, they left on the heels of a sweep that started a free-fall out of wild-card contention and had them nine games behind the Cubs with 22 games to play entering Friday. Here’s a look at how the Giants and Cubs have performed since the beginning of that pivotal series:
Madison Bumgarner has done his part to keep the Giants in the playoff race. Bumgarner had one of the best months ever by a San Francisco Giants pitcher in August, yet didn’t win the N.L. Pitcher of the Month award. That went to the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta, whose recent numbers have been even better:
Bumgarner’s last six starts: 5-1, 43 1/3 innings, 33 hits allowed, six walks, 55 strikeouts, 2.28 ERA.
Arrieta’s last six starts: 6-0, 43 1/3 innings, 21 hits allowed, seven walks, 45 strikeouts, 0.42 ERA.
When healthy, Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford comprise most of the Giants’ everyday lineup. But out of a potential 165 combined games since Aug. 6, those five have appeared in just 69 total games amid myriad injuries.
Manager Bruce Bochy on Friday about the Giants’ standing: “We’re breathing. You never know what can happen. You win a few games, get some momentum going, some mojo going, and we get a little help, things can change. … Sure, it’s going to take some great play on our part. And it’s going to take a little help.”