The San Francisco Giants are now in a position where they are fighting for second place against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

For a couple of months now, Giants fans have been focusing their energy on the race for first place between the Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks, paying no attention to the team that has slowly crept up from behind. 

As the Giants and Dodgers prepare for Game 2 of their weekend series in San Francisco, the Dodgers are only 3.5 games behind the second-place Giants, and Giants fans are beginning to feel the heat.

Despite current Cy Young front-runner Clayton Kershaw and a legitimate MVP candidate in the focused and resurgent Matt Kemp, the Dodgers fell seemingly into irrelevance early in 2011. The only attention they garnered was that of lawsuits, bankruptcy and questions if management could make payroll.

The Dodgers were off the map and suffering as a franchise, and Giants fans quietly snickered to themselves over the state of the once-proud franchise.

The Dodgers don’t lack talent after Kershaw and Kemp, have a good first-year manager in Don Mattingly and have inched back toward respectability as the season winds down. 

In lean years in San Francisco, Giants fans could always hang their hats on trying to at least prevent the Dodgers from winning the division; I’m sure that Dodger fans feel the same.

In a lost season like this one in L.A., I’m sure that Dodger fans would consider the season a success if they could push themselves past the reigning World Series champions and rivals of over 100 years, the Giants.  With only a few weeks left in the season, and the Giants still unable to grasp the run-scoring concept with any semblance of regularity, the Dodgers have a chance to do just that.

For the sake of all Giants fans everywhere, the Giants need to finish off the season strong.  This will give them at least a bit of momentum heading into a critical offseason and would keep the hated Dodgers from overtaking them.

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