SAN FRANCISCO -- Returning from a six-game road swing against two National League Central opponents in the Astros and Cubs, the Giants have begun a final stretch of the season in which the schedule will only feature NL West foes. "I'll be honest, it'll be nice to not have to go to the East Coast right now and stay within the division, but we have a lot of work ahead of us, we know it," manager Bruce Bochy said. Beginning with the three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks that kicked off on Monday, the Giants will only play one opponent with a winning record -- the Dodgers, who entered Monday with a 4 1/2-game deficit behind the first-place Giants.
The D-backs entered Monday's game three games below .500, while the Padres wrapped up their second straight winning month in August to improve upon their 20-41 start to the season. The Rockies, meanwhile, had won six of their past 10. "We're in September now, and now it's the stretch drive and we're in the division," Bochy said. "You're hoping our home play picks up like it was early in the season, and we're going to be playing some teams who are playing very well. Not just Arizona and, of course, L.A., but also San Diego and Colorado, they're playing good baseball."