With the Giants quickly slipping out of contention, a cloud of grief is rolling into the hills of San Francisco like the city's trademark fog.
After four years of losing records, and finishing towards the bottom of the anemic NL West, the Giants emerged as contenders in 2009 when their pitching became, more often than not, good enough to compensate for their abysmal hitting.
But with a 27-27 record since the All-Star Break, the Giants have descended back to relative mediocrity.
They've maintained their great pitching, with a team ERA of 3.35 over the past 30 days. But they have hit only .235 in the same time period; even a rotation of "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain" (oops, wrong team) would struggle to amass wins with so little offensive support.
With just three weeks left in the season, the Giants find themselves down by four in the Wild Card and 7.5 games in the NL West, looking up at two teams who have played both parts of the game pretty well.
It might not be too late for a comeback, but at this point, the gap is probably too big to overcome unless the Rockies or Dodgers collapse.
It is with reenergizing the fan base as much in mind as actually improving the team that I offer my thoughts about what could be done differently in 2010.