Without saying anything about the chances of the Giants catching the Dodgers in the standings this year, I will say the following:
I don't think the Giants are good enough to overtake the Rockies.
Even if the Giants somehow swept the Rockies in their series next week, I still don't think the Giants could catch the Rockies by the end of the year.
The Giants are still being out on-based by their opponents, even with their great pitching staff. 0.307 for the Giants, 0.314 for their opponents. That's why they haven't kept up with the surging Rockies.
The Dodgers probably have more to fear from the Marlins than the Giants at this point.
The Giants figure to have a better offense next year. Don't they? If the offense does improve, then are they at least co-favorites for the division in 2010? But then I wonder, will they ever get this kind of performance from Matt Cain again? He's good, but probably not really this good. The problem for the Giants is that both the pitching and hitting are likely to shape more toward average.
With the Giants 8.5 games back of the Dodgers the matchup against Penny has lost some of its zing.
The Dodgers are 3 up on the Rockies, 1 up on the Cardinals. The playoff cushion is 8.5. Matt Kemp no longer bats eighth. There's nothing to complain about!