This is my 500th post! Celebrate with me! Adore Yu Darvish with me!
I had sort of a bad feeling about last night’s NLDS finale. I have kind of a bad feeling whenever the Cardinals are involved. It’s nothing against them personally, it’s just… something against them personally. Recall last year’s Game We Do Not Talk About. (Literally. We literally do not talk about it. If you start talk about it, I will not hesitate to employ techniques like Willy Wonka’s Stickjaw For Talkative Baseball Fans and plugging my ears and singing Total Eclipse of the Heart at the top of my lungs.) Anyway, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as that game played out and the Nationals completed what people are calling the biggest choke in recent memory.
I’d like to stop right there, though. Yes, they choked. The Nats were the favorite from the NL to go to the World Series and their decision to shut down Strasburg only adds fuel to the second-guessing fire. But it’s baseball. These things happen. There’s a “choke” almost every year and in large part, it’s just bad luck, it’s what happens at the moment and, you know, facing the Cards (kidding, kidding). I’m sure it’s a nasty enough moment for the Nationals organization and their fans. I don’t have much love lost for them myself, but there’s no need to hash and rehash right this moment, either. I’d rather leave it at that.
On to happier things!
The Giants checked out of their hotel in Cinci in the middle of that game and waited in their plane to take off as the game ended. I would personally rather endure a myriad of terrible tortures, such as having my liver eaten out every day à la Prometheus, then spend that extra time on a plane, but to each his own, I guess. Maybe their planes are really nice/equipped with life-size Temple Runs screens or something.
Practically, the outcome was good for us. The Giants have home field advantage locked down the rest of the way and Tim Lincecum’s beanie habit is alive and well. Good news, good news.
Photo from @SFGiants.
Also, how about the omnipresent Ryan Theriot smile? Sadly, no fedora. But the smile will do.
It’s been over a full 24 hours now since the Giants won Game 5 of the NLDS and gave themselves a spot in the NLCS and I’m still kind of in a state of disbelief. The odds were not in the Giants favor by any stretch of the imagination but they won it… they found a way to turn the series around and slowly kill all of their fans inside and make us love them with all our hearts all the same.
I’m still not sure what happened, exactly. I think people had started writing their post-mortem wraps when the Giants left for Cinci. Then, slowly but surely, something clicked. A handful of torturous and mildly horrifying games later, there was champagne and another series and Hunter Pence is the greatest motivational speaker in the history of the universe.
The odds were ever in our favor, as it turned out.
And it was magical. It didn’t feel terribly magical at the time, because I was writhing and biting my nails, but after they got that last out, I just made myself an Italian soda and just let it sink in. By the end of tonight, there will be four teams left and the Giants are one of them.
The A’s are not, in other Bay Area news. They got Verlandered last night – yes, Verlander is a verb now and it means, oops, you lose – and the Yankees were the Yankees and that was that. Yankees-Giants World Series is pretty much what I dream about on long, cold offseason days so my fingers are solidly crossed. As you can imagine, Giants-Tigers would also set us up, you know, to be Verlandered.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First comes the NLCS and I cannot wait.
Popcorn and cupcakes. Here we come.
I don’t know about you, but to me, this totally looks like an orange sky.
To those of you who are all, “Uh, no, that’s pink,” were you the ones who told your little cousin that Santa does not exist? I know it was you. I know it.
p.s. Game 5. That is all.
I actually sat down to write a blog post this morning but I was too nervous. There were a million and one clichés out there and the whole there is no way/we can totally do this refrain was running through my head. I decided to wait. I had to leave my radio and TV shortly after the game got started, so I got my score updates from a variety of roundabout means and finally got home right at the top of the 10th. I missed a good bit of the torture, but I also got to experience plenty of it. The Giants came out on top, 2-1, in the tightest of pitching duels.
Anna Wintour would be proud. (Or would she be? On second thought, she would probably not be the least bit proud. But you know what I mean.)
Ryan Vogelsong put together what has to be one of the more amazing and touching performances of the playoffs so far and when he told the story of Jamie Moyer’s text to him prior to the game on KNBR, the win took on a whole new meaning to me. Hunter Pence’s words, as well, that it was as simple as this team wanting to play a few more games together, were spot on. It comes down to that at this time of year, doesn’t it? Win or lose, there aren’t a whole lot of games left. We have to enjoy the ride – even when it’s terrible and torturous.
Barry Zito will take the mound tomorrow in a strange and fitting twist of fate and the world is pretty much resting on his shoulders. 1:07 tomorrow can simultaneously not come fast enough and is coming far too fast. Anyone have a bottle of nail polish to help me calm the nerves? Thanks. You guys are the best.