DENVER -- The Giants are in a race, but hardly the sort they anticipated at the outset of the season. Rather than vying to reach the postseason and trying to win riveting games of consequence this September, the Giants will try to finish third in the National League West.
Entering Wednesday night's game, the Rockies were third in the division, 9 1/2 games out of first, with a 62-72 record. The Giants and Padres both checked in at 59-73, 18 1/2 games back and tied for fourth.
"That's not what you set out to do," manager Bruce Bochy, "but considering where you are, it means that we played better ball from this point on. I don't think anybody wants to finish in the cellar.
"It's not something that we've talked about as much as we've got to come out here and give it our best every day, which shouldn't be but can be a little bit of an issue because of what these guys have been through the last three years.
The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and '12 and finished 86-78, two games behind in the Wild Card race, in '11.
Referring to 2011, Bochy said, "We came close, every pitch counted, and you still should play the game that way."
Zito may be in line for a break
DENVER -- The Giants haven't announced their starter for Sunday in Arizona, but because they are off on Thursday, they have the option of skipping Barry Zito and pitching Yusmeiro Petit on regular rest.
Zito is 4-10 with a 5.81 ERA in 27 starts. But in 12 games (10 starts) on the road, Zito is 0-8 with a 9.61 ERA and opponents are batting .411 against him. Zito has made 16 starts since he last won on May 30 and has a seven-game losing streak. The latest loss was 6-1 to the Rockies here on Monday, when Zito lasted four innings and gave up five runs on nine hits, including two homers.
Petit took the turn of injured Matt Cain on Tuesday. He held the Rockies to six hits and two runs in six innings while recording his first Major League victory in four years.
Giants close road sked vs. Yankees, Mets
DENVER -- The Giants will finish road play this season with an unusual New York stop. They will play the Mets from Sept. 17-19 and the Yankees from Sept. 20-22.
"A lot of us will be coaching for free with our wives on that trip," Giants manager Bruce Bochy joked.
The Giants will have a week in New York, starting with an off-day on Sept. 16. Before the game on Sept. 22, the Yankees will honor closer Mariano Rivera, who is retiring after the season.
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.