A baseball season is a long, hard grind. But a shorter version starts all over in October, once the playoffs are set, and there's not much that can replace players being fresh for the start of that second, shortened and more meaningful season.
Which is precisely why Bruce Bochy, who's done a wonderful job with his lineup this season, is letting players who are tired pick up some extra rest as the Giants look to close out the season.
"I have thought about it and we have rested some guys," Bochy said, per Chris Haft of MLB.com. "I think we're OK, but if I think a guy needs a day at this point, he's going to get a day. You don't want to wear a guy down right now."
The idea here is that it's inherently stupid to have all the Giants position players rolling into the postseason on tired legs. That's absolutely correct. But Bochy also doesn't want to yank guys out of their rhythm and mess up the way the team is rolling.
"I think I would have done what's right for the player and the club," Bochy said. "If you need a day, you're going to get a day seeing where we are in the season."
We saw this with Hunter Pence and Buster Posey, both of whom are still playing on a regular basis.
With 14 games left and some combo of seven Giants wins and Dodger losses to pick up, San Francisco is in a good spot. They're all but assured (CoolStandings.com says 99.8 percent chance of a division title) a spot in the postseason.
Now it's about making sure that everyone on the team is starting to hit their stride when the playoffs begin. Bochy's been here before and knows about getting people in the groove, which is exactly why it's fascinating to see him manage his personnel on the way into the postseason.