MLB Power Rankings: Giants lead NL West, but tailspin is troubling

by | Baseball Writer
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Sometimes, it's amazing the power context has. Let's talk about the Giants and context.

What if, heading into the season, we were told that the Giants would have a three-game lead over the Dodgers atop the NL West with less than a week remaining in June? Surely we'd have thought the Giants and their fans would be delighted and love their chances as the 2014 season unfolded -- it being an even-numbered year and all, as the superstitious out there would like to remind us.

Further, let's say there are two chunks, for lack of a better term, so far this season. In one, the Giants went 42-21 -- a .667 winning percentage which calculates to a 162-game pace of 108 wins. The other chunk? They entered Wednesday riding a 3-11 tailspin.

For the sake of argument, imagine the Giants started 3-11 before going on a run where they won 2/3 of their games and had that three-game lead. Everyone would be feeling pretty great about them and I'm certain I'd have them ranked higher (probably second or third).

Instead, not many -- even in San Francisco -- can feel good about this team right. In less than two weeks, they've been swept by the Rockies and White Sox while facing a sweep at the hands of the Padres on Wednesday.

The offense is inconsistent, but the pitching has been awful during this funk. Matt Cain has an 8.83 ERA in his past three starts, Tim Hudson's ERA has spiked over a run, Ryan Vogelsong's ERA is 7.31 in his past three outings and Sergio Romo is no longer confidence-inspiring. When the pitching does show up, the offense doesn't.

That three-game lead? Well, it was 9.5 only 16 days ago.

Context.

Not only are the Giants headed the wrong direction as the halfway point nears, the Dodgers have won 8 of 11.

Please feel free to contact me with comments via Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS) or email (matt.snyder@cbs.com). Please keep in mind these were posted the morning of Wednesday, June 25. Considering the way this wacky season has gone, the order below will be moot by Saturday.

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)
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