San Francisco Giants on the ropes heading into homestand 

The Giants have taken their tortuous season to a level that only the best Hollywood screenwriters could describe.

The sputtering, suddenly comeback-free, post-Carlos Beltran Giants take the field this afternoon against the Astros in Houston in clear danger of losing contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which would classify as a genuine disaster.

Earlier this week, manager Bruce Bochy tried to calm the masses by reminding everybody that this is August, and that there’s plenty of baseball left to play.

Not the way the Giants are playing it, making this week’s upcoming homestand the most critical stretch of baseball the Giants will play this year. They will be entertaining the National League’s two worst teams — the San Diego Padres and the Houston Astros — and they’d better make the most of it.  

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have it a little tougher — playing four in Washington against the Nationals before returning to the desert for three with the Padres.

Let’s face it, the Beltran solution has been a disaster. Everything that broke the Giants’ way the first four months of the season now seems to break the other way.

Those still optimistic about the Giants’ chances of catching the Diamondbacks point to their 20-10 finish a year ago. The pessimists are poking the cadaver to see if there’s any life left in this ballclub.

I was trying to describe what it is like to be a Giants fan these days, and I flashed across the character of Philip Henslowe in the 1998 Academy Award-winning movie “Shakespeare in Love.”

Midway through the movie, Henslowe, played by actor Geoffrey Rush, was about to be tortured by Hugh Fennyman, played by Tom Wilkinson, because the play he was producing appeared to be on the verge of going under. 

“Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.”

(Kind of sounds like the Giants season right about now, doesn’t it?)

“So, what do we do?”

“Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”


“I don’t know, it’s a mystery.”

Right now, it definitely is a mystery what is going to turn it back around for the Giants. A clutch Brian Wilson save? Aubrey Huff donning another thong? Brandon Belt? The return of Beltran from the disabled list?

I was sure the Giants had their mojo back the other night in Atlanta when the bullpen came to the rescue of an injured Jonathan Sanchez to the tune of eight strong innings. Unfortunately, the Giants’ luck ran out that night.

Whatever it is that finally does re-ignite the Giants, if it gets them back into the playoffs, that will be the kind of Hollywood ending that right now nobody would believe.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. Email him at

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