Can San Francisco catch Arizona?
The Giants don't need to be perfect against the Snakes; a more plausible scenario is going 4-2 against Arizona and making up the rest of the deficit against sub-.500 division foes Colorado, San Diego and Los Angeles.
That's essentially how they overcame San Diego last September, going 4-3 against the Padres and 14-7 against the rest of the West.
And yes, the Padres' 0-10 late August/early September nose-plant didn't hurt.
Stepping back from the soap opera ("All My .239-Hitting Children;" "The Old and the Punchless") that is your 2011 Giants, here's a peek at four trends in the NL West entering the home stretch.