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Game 1 of the World Series and a Manic Pixie Dream Bat

That was quite probably the greatest Game 1 of the World Series any of us could have hoped for.  Actually, probably the greatest game, period, that any of us could have hoped for.

More than a few people wrote off this game as a certain loss for the Giants and that wasn’t unreasonable – they were facing Justin Verlander, for God’s sake.  When the A’s faced JV in the final game of the ALDS, I said more than a few times, “It’s a verb.  To Verlander.  The A’s are about to get Verlander’d.”  And get Verlander’d they did.

The game we saw was a very different game, indeed.  Barry Zito stood tall while Verlander only lasted four innings and, really, his performance was a footnote compared to the performance he played a role in:  Pablo Sandoval’s three home run night.  Three home runs.  That is a lot of home runs.  Like, the number of home rums that might make me blink and pinch myself and wonder, “Am I dreaming?”

I actually wondered that a couple of times during last night’s game.  And it shouldn’t have felt as crazy as it did – the Giants just defeated the defending World Champions in the NLCS by a final of 9-0 and are every bit a solid matchup for the Tigers.  But it did feel a little surreal.  In a good way.  A very, very good way.

There’s still a good deal more work to be done and baseball to be played, but that is a Game 1 that none of us will be forgetting any time soon, I think.

Oh, and can I just throw something out there?  In a game with a lot of good candidates for “favorite moment”, my favorite moment was undoubtedly Verlander’s expression when his pitching coach came out to the mound.  That was priceless.  Seriously, seriously priceless.

Classic, JV.  Classic.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I know Hunter Pence has gotten his fair share of needling for naming his bats, but I think it’s awesome.  (Of course I do.)  If I were a baseball player, I would totally name my bats.  Sure, my names would probably be, eh, slightly different than his, but still.

Move over, Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  We have the Manic Pixie Dream Bat.

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A Starbucks and Rain-Related Rant

I can think of a few rare instances where a rain delay has ended well.  Zito in Detroit last season is one.  As CBS put it at the time, the Giant smashed the Tigers 15-3.  (Different Tigers than the ones who are dominating everything right now?  Yes.)  But except in the instances of really massive blowouts, I’m generally so disgruntled and stir-crazy and annoyed from all the waiting that the outcome is somewhat irrelevant.

We all knew the rain delay was coming today.  So I got my shoes on and as soon as they started rolling the tarps out, I left and got a coffee and went to the park and read my ridiculously sad book.  I came home with pretty much perfect timing.  Internal rain delay clock?  Why, yes, I do have that.  It was nice, except that I really need to start remembering that Starbucks doesn’t make Dark Roast in decaf, because the Medium Roast – the only one they do make in decaf – is unequivocally revolting.  Apologies to any Medium Roast lovers I may have just mortally offended.

Um, anyway.  Starbucks rant over.

My timing was pretty much perfect.  I got home and went back to watching.  Everything was perfect other than, you know, the game.  After all that rain and delay and jazz, the Giants lost very softly, by a final of 3-1.  There were just a lot of little mistakes on their part and they didn’t take advantage of the mistakes that the Cardinals made, either.  Hunter Pence definitely stood out and not in a good way.  He’s batting .161 in the postseason and is looking a bit like all of the Giants problems mashed into one.  Obviously no game or series is decided by one person and other people have struggled, but Pence’s are magnified at the moment.

It was not a pretty game.  And it was a darn long one, for being as not-pretty as it was.  Medium Roast is looking increasingly appealing after seeing that one finish up.

Just kidding, just kidding.  I choose losing Giants over bad coffee any day.  But here’s to some winning Giants, right?  It’s getting down to the wire but there’s still a good bit of baseball to be played.  Like everyone, I’d guess, I’m dying with curiosity about what Our Boy Timmy will do tomorrow.  A word about that nickname…

…and it’s anecdote time, because I tell a lot of anecdotes around this time of night.  Earlier this season, I was having dinner with a Red Sox fan and suddenly he was all, “How about your boy Timmy?”  Lincecum had just had particularly terrible start.  So I was sort of silent and then I said, “Yeah.  How about my boy Timmy.”   I got this fiercely protective feeling and that was pretty much the end of that.  Let it be known that Red Sox and Giants fans are not a match made in heaven.  ‘Member when the two teams did an All Star Game voting alliance? They were just misleading us.  Seriously.

Things will be better tomorrow.   And hopefully our Pagan Deity of choice will make it a little bit… drier.  Please, Thor/Zeuz/Celtic God Whose Name I Can’t Spell?  No rain?  Thanks.  You’re the best.  I’ll sacrifice some cupcakes to you.

Diamond Girl

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Harry Potter and Peeta Voice Their Opinions on the Giants

Does this whole coming-from-behind-in-the-series thing ever get old?

Actually…

Work your magic, Hunter Pence.  The whole coming-from-behind-in-the-series thing does indeed get old.  Josh Hutcherson in heart shaped sunglasses (I love you too, internet) agrees with me.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If you came here looking for some analysis of last night’s game – doubtful – I’d be happy to oblige.  All I request is a plate of warm, fudge brownies and the extended editions of all of the Lord of the Rings movies and you asking very nicely.  See?  I am a very reasonable person.

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Champagne and Magical Games

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.

Diamond Girl

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Back in Vogue

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.

Diamond Girl

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