SAN FRANCISCO – With four games to go in the regular season, a Giants team that set a single-season winning streak in the San Francisco era with its 104th win on Wednesday now has a magical count of three to win the National League Where is.
What is a magic number? How is it calculated? And above all, why is it important?
Major League Baseball defines a “magic number” as the number representing the combination of wins needed for a team and the losses of the closest competitor to a team to achieve a given goal.
After becoming the first MLB club to land a playoff berth earlier this month, the Giants ‘new goal is to win the NL West and end the Dodgers’ eight-game winning streak. San Francisco enters the final four days of the regular season schedule with a 2.0 game lead over Los Angeles, so the earliest possible date for the Giants to celebrate a win is Friday, October 1.
“We understand the magnitude of what we have done so far having 104 wins and knowing how difficult it is to win over 100 games in a season,” said starter Alex Wood after a 1 win. -0 for the Giants on Wednesday. “But I think one of the coolest things about our group of guys is we’re so micro-focused. It’s showing up the next day, giving everything we’ve got and trying to win a baseball game.
Regardless of how the Dodgers fare in their next four games, the Giants can reduce their magic number from three to zero and win the NL West by ending the regular season with a 3-1 record. Three wins would eliminate the possibility for the Dodgers to catch the Giants, so even if the Dodgers win their last four regular season games, Gabe Kapler’s club are in control of their own destiny.
If the Dodgers lose once in the next four games, the Giants can finish 2-2 and end the season atop the National League West. Any loss for the Dodgers reduces the Giants’ magic number by one, so in the unlikely scenario that San Francisco ends the season 0-4, Los Angeles would have to end the season 1-3 to lose the NL West race.
With the Giants ahead of 2.0 games, there is also a realistic scenario where each team ends the regular season with the same number of wins and losses. Posting identical records at the end of a 162-game season would force the Dodgers and Giants to play a tie-breaker in Game 163 on Monday, October 4.
This tiebreaker would take place at Oracle Park because the Giants won the season series between the two clubs 10-9.
The Giants almost saw their magic number drop from three to two after a 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, but the Dodgers hit four homers in the eighth inning against the Padres, including three against right-hander Emilio Pagan to overcome a 9 -5 deficit and victory 11-9.
With a chance to reduce their magic number to two on Thursday, the Giants will face Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner is 7-10 with a 4.58 ERA this season, but pitched seven one-run innings in a 3-1 win in Arizona over San Francisco on August 3.
The Giants are 20-6 in September, but haven’t been able to make a big difference in the standings for a Dodgers team that went from 21-6 in August and are now 18-7 in September. The competition for the NL West crown has turned into one of the most dramatic division races in MLB history, as both teams are motivated to avoid playing a playoff game against a team from the St Cardinals. Louis who has just won his victory of 17 games. sequence interrupted Wednesday.
“As long as we’re doing business,” Giants outfielder Kris Bryant said Wednesday. “We are in control of our own destiny.”