It has been a tale of two halves for Giants' ace Kevin Gausman.
An NL Cy Young candidate in the first half of the season, Gausman's performance wavered immediately after the All-Star break.
So which Gausman will the Giants have heading into their first postseason appearance since 2016?
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi explained why he believes Gausman's performance has fallen off in the second half of the season.
“I think it’s a few things," Zaidi told KNBR 680's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks Show". "One is that he came out of the gates with really great stuff, was really fresh earlier in the season. People talk about how pitchers are usually ahead of hitters earlier in the season and I really think he had the absolute best version of his split going. So I think he took advantage of hitters not really being fully up to speed.
"And there’s probably been a little bit of an adjustment. I know he’s talked some about his mechanics and getting back to the mechanics that allow him to elevate the fastball and really get good action on the split."
In recent starts, Gausman has pitched better. Since July 24, Gausman had allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his nine starts leading up to his rough outing against the San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon when he allowed eight hits and four earned runs in five innings.
While that stretch hasn't been Cy Young-caliber, the Giants' presumed ace still has been very productive on the hill.
"You look at the last eight or nine starts, he’s been solid," Zaidi added. "It’s not the (video game) numbers he was putting up earlier. I look at his outing today, and he was good enough to win that game, he just got beat by a really good piece of hitting by Tommy Pham there that kind of doubled the score on us and made it a little bit tougher to come back.”
If the Giants are to make a deep postseason run, a return to dominance from Gausman will only further the team's chances at a World Series title.