Just as fans who love advanced stats hate talk about "grit" and "toughness" and "finding ways to win," I can absolutely see why fans who aren't as into that method of baseball analysis hate talk about "luck" and "inevitable regression" and such. Because while there's no absolute stat for luck, there is the reality that sometimes playoff teams get outscored on the season. And sometimes teams win 65% of their one run games over the course of the season.
No one will disagree with the idea that no franchise can do those things for decades on end, but I think we can all agree that the standard unit we use for judging our favorite teams is a season. And those kinds of seasons do happen, all the time. So I'm getting pretty sick of posters around here (no one in particular- I don't check in often enough to remember the names of non-mods) and their know-it-all attitude about how the rest of 2011 will play out for the Giants. I saw someone (again, not calling anyone out because I honestly don't remember who said it) say in the past couple days that the Giants will finish in 3rd or 4th. 4th? Are you kidding? You think they're going to get passed by 3 other NL West teams? I'm as frustrated with their continuing success as the next guy, but come on. That's absurd.
You know what? They just might win 95 games this year. It really wouldn't surprise me. When they've been doing what they're doing for the last season and a half, winning all kinds of games they shouldn't with a lineup that looks terrible on paper, who knows when it will stop. I know, I know- the longer it goes on the more likely it is to stop soon. But for crying out loud, look at them. They're 5 games over .500 since Posey went down. They're at the same winning percentage as they had in 2010 even as Huff, Burrell, and Torres have returned to earth. The whole rotation is having a good season, but no one besides Vogelsong is having a great one. And yet there they are. Winning games 1-0 because Cleveland just happened to make a crucial error at the exact right moment and Bob Davidson just happened to be assigned to the game.
Look, in a nutshell, my point is this: I fully understand the ideas of unsustainable performance in close games, pythag record, all that. But outperforming your talent level and exceeding your expected performance over the course of a season really isn't that hard to do. Posters around here could really stand to tone it down with their THE GIANTS ARE DOOMED, I'M NOT EVEN WORRIED ABOUT THEM, THEY'RE FINISHED talk. With the exception of this past April, the Rockies have been looking up at them in the standings for the last season and a half. Once that's not happening anymore, then maybe I'll be a little more sympathetic towards the people who want to stick a fork in the Giants in every Rockpile and game wrap. Until then: feel free to talk about what's likely to happen and what's not, but try not to be jerks about it. Saying "UNSUSTAINABLE!!!!!! /pointpointpointpointpoint" adds a little more to the conversation than "TEH GIANTS ARE JUST WINNING WINNERS WHO KNOW HOW TO WIN," but not much. Especially when the first message is delivered snidely.
As for whether the Rockies are unlucky, underperforming, or just not that good of a team... I'm not going to bother with that one. Not until the ASB anyways.