Just how dramatically have things changed for the Giants? Look no further than the rumors surrounding Madison Bumgarner.
Speculation that the left-handed pitcher would be traded ahead of the deadline provided a constant drumbeat through the early part of San Francisco's season. Then, the Giants got hot, moved above .500 and ultimately entered Thursday just three games back of the NL's second wild-card spot.
Now, it's "all but certain" the Giants will not trade Bumgarner, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday citing "a source with knowledge of the team's plans." They could even become buyers at the deadline if they're still in the wild-card chase Monday, according to Feinsand.
The Giants? As buyers?
A 30-17 record since June 1 will do that, and San Francisco's in-season roster tinkering has helped push the team into the thick of a playoff chase. As will the knowledge that manager Bruce Bochy will retire at the end of 2019, as Feinsand reported that the idea of giving Bochy one final run is alluring to the Giants.
If -- and it's still an if -- the Giants add at the deadline, Feinsand reported that the team will focus on adding starting pitching. To that end, San Francisco's scouts might already have been looking. They were present at Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd's latest start, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.
The Giants begin a three-game set Friday against the San Diego Padres. If they take at least two of those games, July 31 could get a little more interesting.