Back in the halcyon days when SFist was launching and the Giants were getting their collective ass handed to them by the lowly Cincinnati Reds, it was looking pretty grim down at Third and King, and SFist was starting to think about next year for San Francisco baseball. But, oh, how things have changed. SFist got its playoff tickets in the mail yesterday and is pretty psyched about the idea of October baseball as the Giants are coming together at just the right time.

San Francisco has a half-game lead in the Wild Card race and is only a half game back of the hated Dodgers (AKA the Choking Dogs) in the division. After clubbing around the recently unbeatable Roy Oswalt and the Astros real good last night behind wunderkind rookie Noah Lowry, the Giants send Jason Schmidt to the mound tonight looking for the sweep. And tomorrow San Francisco welcomes the Dodgers to the House That Bonds Built for the last three home games of the season in what is unquestionably the most important series of the year to date. SFist has been to three of the five games played so far in the current home stand (the Giants went two-and-one against the Padres over the weekend and have taken the first two from the Astros) and will be there tonight, tomorrow and Saturday as well (and if anyone needs a partner for Sunday, you know who to email), so watch out for more feverish Giants updates in the coming days.

In related news, SFist is currently putting together a bet about the Giants and Dodgers and their remaining six games with Phil Wallace, Dodgers beat writer (we wish!) for LAist. Anybody got any suggestions about what the stakes should be?

And, um, oh yeah, the Athletics are managing to keep the Angels and Rangers, who have just killed Oakland recently, at bay in the AL West.