Not as dominating a week for the D-backs, as they went a mediocre 3-3, while the Giants decided to stop using toothpicks at the plate and went 6-1, scoring 40 times during their current six-game winning streak. However, the magic number still shrunk appreciably, dropping from ten to six. Next Friday's game, when we play San Francisco at Chase, is statistically the most likely date for us to clinch the division, but I'd be quite happy if we do it sooner than that. No drama, please...
After the jump, we'll look at how things might play out in more detail.
CoolStandings.com has us sitting at a 98.7% chance to win the division. That's down a tad from the near-certain 99.7% that we were this time last week: first time it has dropped in quite a while, but a loss of one percentage point is hardly reason for concern. Even the previously cynical Baseball Prospectus projections have the Diamondbacks at 99.2%, so there is basically no cause for concern at this point. However, if the Colorado Rockies would perhaps stop putting out their B-lineup - Troy Tulowitzk and Todd Helton haven't played either game against SF, and last night they were missing Carlos Gonzalez too - that'd be nice.
Only 11 games left on the schedule, so the projected standings are looking pretty much like the current standings, though as we are no longer owners of a 15-2 record, we are no longer expected to get close to a hundred wins. Personally, I am devastated by this turn of proceedings.
The Dodgers have dropped back to third and are now eliminated from contention [being thirteen behind us, with a dozen games left to play]. But overall, it still looks like a comfortable enough victory for Arizona, the lead barely shrinking from the current six games. Now, let's look at all grid with the results against the Giants and everyone else. You probably know by now: columns are our record in the remaining games against the Giants; the rows, our record in other contests (only eight left); the contents of each box are what SF has to do in their remaining games to force a play-off.
I particularly like the first column. Overall, that's two-thirds of the possible permutations which result in guaranteed Arizona victories, up from 53% last time, so we are still going in the right direction. Even should we not clinch the division with certainly by the time the Giants arrive, we should be teetering on the brink of it. For example, if we get swept by the Giants and win only two of our other games - a 2-9 record - San Francisco would still need to win most of its non-Arizona contests, and go 8-3, to tie. Possible, sure - but they have precious little room for error, and we have only to exercise minimum competence.
If we can't win more than two games against the Padres, Dodgers, Giants and Pirates...well, we probably don't deserve to be in the playoffs! Here's to next week's edition being extremely short, and perhaps just consisting of a large, "100%" graphic.