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MLB Playoff Picture: Giants Hanging Around In NL West & NL Wildcard Standings

The San Francisco Giants recent struggles have left them clawing rather desperately for a playoff spot in recent weeks. Just as all hope seemed lost, the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks have left just a flicker of hope for Giants fans. The odds are pretty high Arizona and Atlanta will crush those hopes over the final two weeks of the 2011 MLB season, but if a fan doesn't have any hope, what do they have?

On the same day that the Giants won their sixth straight game, the Atlanta Braves dropped a 12-2 decision to the New York Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks were shut out 2-0 by the Padres. The Giants victory moved them to within five games of the Braves in the NL wildcard standings and within six games of the DBacks in the NL West standings.

The Giants continue a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field while the Braves host two more against the Mets at home and the Diamondbacks play two more against the Padres at Petco Park. The Giants would still have to leapfrog the St. Louis Cardinals in the wildcard standings, but they remain the only team directly behind Arizona.

The next six days could prove incredibly interesting in the NL West race. Next weekend the Giants and Diamondbacks square off for three games at AT&T Park. Before then, the Giants face Colorado twice and LA three times in SoCal. On the other hand, the Diamondbacks face the Padres twice and head home for three with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants likely need to shave at least two games off the standings between now and next Friday. It should make for an exciting week of baseball.