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Giants waste chance to keep pace in NL West with loss to open homestand

Giants waste chance to keep pace in NL West with loss to open homestand

Giants lose to Reds again, waste chance to keep pace in West originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball players don’t like to talk much about checking the standings, even if it’s clear that they do. Updates are plastered on scoreboards during batting practice, prominently displayed in game notes and stories, and are not at all hard to find on the apps that are on the first pages of most players’ iPhones. At Oracle Park, there’s even a flagpole with an NL West hierarchy.

But Alex Cobb isn’t going to pretend he doesn’t know where the Giants sit. He smiled late Friday night and told a small group of reporters that if he ever was going to stretch the truth in front of cameras and microphones, it certainly wouldn’t be over something as trivial as whether or not he checks the NL West standings.

Cobb knows where the Giants are, and he also knows what’s ahead of them. They are chasing two of the best teams in baseball — the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres — and it’s hard to make up ground. This homestand is an opportunity, then, even if the Giants would never admit it.

In the Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox, the Giants play their next eight games against three teams under .500, with the Reds and Tigers on pace for 100 losses. The Giants even have two off days mixed in next week to make sure they’re fully fresh.

This is a great chance to make up ground … but on the first night back home the Giants played one of their most disheartening games of the year.

Cobb was knocked out in the fifth and had more bad defense played behind him. The lineup did just about nothing against rookie Graham Ashcraft, who sat in the upper 90s and kept the ball on the ground. The Giants lost 4-2, falling to 1-3 against a Reds team that just got swept by the Dodgers and had lost seven straight overall.

After temporarily righting the ship, the Giants have lost four of five this week to the Braves, the reigning World Series champs, and now the…

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