Tonight, the Giants made a statement in their 6-2 win over the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks: They’re not going away quietly.

I’m probably the biggest optimist around when it comes to my beloved boys in Orange and Black, but as you can tell by my recent articles, I had all but given up. Why? Because in the last month this team had shown virtually no signs of life. Not only weren’t they hitting, but they have been playing sloppy baseball.

That seems to have all changed on Wednesday. The day started out with the surprising announcement that Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada, two high-priced veterans, had been designated for assignment. The Giants not only were willing to let the underperforming Tejada go with a month left in the season, but in a mild surprise they sent Rowand packing with a year and $14 million left on his deal.

It seems that the team has responded very positively to the moves. Whether the rumors of Tejada and Rowand being clubhouse cancers were true or not, something seemed to click. The Giants came out Wednesday and took care of business against one of the weaker teams in the league, beating the Chicago Cubs 4-0. Madison Bumgarner spun one of his best starts of the year and the Giants offense came to life—actually scoring some runs. Imagine that!

Tonight, there was a playoff atmosphere at AT&T Park. It was a throwback to 2010, with the crowd engaged from the first pitch.

But when the Diamondbacks scored a run in the first and had the bases loaded, everyone, including myself couldn’t help but thing “here we go again.” Not only have the Giants been falling behind early with their feeble offense being out of games, the Diamondbacks have, conversely, been scoring early and shutting the opponents down with solid pitching.

Matt Cain managed to pitch out of it with a 29-pitch first inning and only allowed one more run in a masterful performance, going eight. Santiago Casilla, the new de facto closer, finished the job and the Giants had their second two-game winning streak in a week.

But it was the offense that really impressed. Carlos Beltran had a chance at the cycle by his fourth at-bat and singled for a 4-4 day—driving in three runs with a two-run homer and an RBI single. Cody Ross, who has had a terrible 2011 hit a two-run shot as well.

These two performances are significant. Beltran has been a disappointment since being acquired for the Giants’ top prospect Zack Wheeler prior to the trade deadline. But Beltran has a history of coming up big down the stretch and in the postseason. And of course Cody Ross’ performance in last year’s postseason is legendary. He looked like his old self, adding a double to the homer.

If these two guys can have a hot September, it could be enough for the Giants to go on the kind of tear they need to catch Arizona. And since hitting is contagious, it might wake some of the other Giants out of their doldrums.  

Jeff Keppinger has been the Giants’ only consistent offensive performer as of late (Keppinger doubled and missed a homer by a foot tonight). Even Pablo Sandoval, the lone bright light in the Giants’ terrible offensive season, has been slumping as of late. Tonight, Sandoval was swinging the bat much better from the right side.

Put it all together and there is hope on the shores of McCovey Cove. A sweep in this series and the Giants are right back in it; and the Diamondbacks reeling.  And since Arizona has been a very streaky team (good and bad), it could land them on the kind of losing streak the Giants need them to have.  

But none of this matters if the Giants don’t take care of their own business. With 24 games left, the Giants better plan to win 18 of them and not count on the Diamondbacks to fade. Tonight’s game proved that though it isn’t likely, it’s not impossible either.

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