A loss by the Atlanta Braves today would have guaranteed the Giants a spot in the playoffs, regardless of the team's outcome against the Padres.
Of course, the Braves won.
In a season where nothing has come easy — the team's informal slogan this year has been Giants Baseball: Torture — San Francisco will have to get in to the playoffs the hard way.
With their 8-7 win over the Phillies today, the Braves finished the season at 91-71, assuring themselves either the National League wild card spot or a potential one-game playoff against the Giants or the Padres.
With a win today against the Padres, the Giants can make things real easy. The team will finish the year with 92-70 record, two games in front of the Padres in the NL West, good for the Giant's first division title since 2003.
If the Giants lose today — remember the slogan — the situation gets complicated. Both the Padres and the Giants would finish the year 91-71, creating two separate one-game playoffs. On Monday, the two NL West teams would meet for the fourth straight day only this time in San Diego, for the division championship. The loser of that game would travel to Atlanta for the right to enter the postseason as the NL wild card team.
To recap — win today and the Giants are in. Lose, and there is still more baseball to play. The Giants — and their oft-tested fans — are surely pulling for the former over the latter.