Three straight losses, no expanded playoffs. That's how the Giants' 2020 season ended in heartbreaking fashion, finishing the year with a 29-31 record.
Wednesday night's 5-4 comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks was Example A of what a difference one year can make. Thanks to the heroic homers of Austin Slater and Jason Vosler, the Giants now have passed their win total of last season just 49 games into the year, improving to 30-19.
That's 11 games fewer than last year's 60-game shortened season. It gets better, too.
The Giants haven't only won more games than they did all last season, they're also on a better pace than two of their three World Series seasons, and only one game behind the third title to their dynasty.
San Francisco secured its 30th win after 53 games in 2010, 54 games in 2012 and 48 games in 2014. The last year the Giants made the playoffs was 2016. They earned their 30th win after 49 games that season, just like this year.
Look around the rest of the majors. The cream is beginning to rise to the top. Division leaders, for the most part, are exactly who we expected them to be. Inside and outside of the Bay Area, the Giants might be the biggest surprise in baseball.
Going into their first road series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in LA, the Giants are on pace to win 99 games. This isn't exactly what preseason projections predicted.
PECOTA, Baseball Prospectus' player projection system, had the Giants winning only 75 games and finishing fourth in the NL West. FanGraphs gave the Giants just a 5.7 percent chance of making the playoffs on Opening Day. That's now up to 42.7 percent while competing with the stacked Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
Don't yell, it's time to be a tiny bit of a downer. The simple truth is, sharing the NL West with the Dodgers and Padres isn't anything to scoff at. As the Giants enter Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, they'll be tied for the second-most wins in the majors -- but also tied for second in the division with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers, of course, hold the tiebreaker over the Giants right now after recently sweeping them at Oracle Park.
As the season grows, 2021 is giving Giants fans major Even Year vibes. With dominant starting pitching, a different hero on a nightly basis and Buster Posey being back, buckle up.
This is going to be a wild ride in what feels like a bare-knuckle boxing match every time the Giants take the field.