After winning 13 of their last 15 games, the San Francisco Giants have more or less caught the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Giants (56-45) are a half game back of the Dodgers (57-45) entering play July 31.

What do we make of this?

“I think it’s probably fool’s gold for the moment,” CSN Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think the one thing that the Dodgers have (that) the Giants could but prefer not to have is the ability to buy their way out of mistakes. (The Dodgers) were certainly very active at the trade deadline. You would seem to think they’ve improved their pitching some, while the Giants have pretty much stood pat. So for the moment, I think the Dodgers are still better. And the Giants, while they’re healthier, they’re a different team, so they’re harder to make sense of. They’re now a hitting-and-defense team, not a pitching-and-defense team. So it’s not the same Giants that you remember from the three World Series. They hit the ball really well and they catch everything that’s hit near them – and it hasn’t been like that in the past.”

The Giants, who are seeking their fourth World Series championship in the last six years, acquired Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday in exchange for minor leaguers Adam Duvall, an infielder, and Keury Mella, a righty. Leake is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA this season but has been virtually untouchable over the last month, having allowed just two earned runs in 30 innings in his last four starts – all wins.

The Giants begin a nine-game road trip Friday against the Rangers, Braves and Cubs.

Switching gears completely, Scott Ferrall asked Ratto for his thoughts on the NFL drama surrounding Roger Goodell, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

“Well, in a fight that basically has nobody that you really like, I’m going to root for the player here,” Ratto said. “Because the NFL seems to think – well, not doesn’t seem to think; they think and they believe to their souls – that they’re like the Tudors. They get to decide what the law is. They get to decide how they apply it whenever they want to apply it. Do I believe that Tom Brady knew and maybe even directed the deflation of the balls? Absolutely. Do I also think that the NFL has acted like swine through this whole thing? Absolutely. Are the Patriots lovable? Absolutely not. But I root for chaos. And the best way to get to chaos is to have Bob Kraft and Roger Goodell at each other’s throats because it means that owners are turning on each other. And I don’t care what sport you like best; there is no entertainment better than rich billionaires trying to kill each other. You can have Ronda Rousey fight Wladimir Klitschko if that’s what your deal is. It’s still not as good as white guys hitting each other with their lawyers.”


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