The hobbling, pinch-hit bomb by Bengie "Señor Slow" Molina on Wednesday night was the biggest play of the year until today, when Edgar "The Rental" Renteria KO'd the Crockies with a GRAND SLAM in the bottom of the 7th off Rafael Betancourt. It had all the earmarks of another agonizing loss, what with Matt Cain's lackluster line (6 8 4 4 2 8) and sub-par start (Game Score 46). The offense looked as typically clueless and inept as they have all year, continually crushing our dreams with flailing, undisciplined at-bats. Somehow, against all odds, the Giants in the 7th produced an inning of championship caliber: working counts, putting guys on base, forcing a bullpen move, and getting the big hit. It was as if all the things I've wailed, lamented, and gnashed my teeth about all season long were suspended for one delirious moment in time! Including the 8th, SEVEN RUNS got tacked on the team total by a spectacular display of grit, fortitude, patience, veteran savvy clutchness, and gnarly motherfucking orneriness.
And magic. Plain, simple baseball magic. How else do you explain team talisman Pablo Sandoval going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and yet the rest of the squad putting up NINE RUNS? What a game! What a series! What a season!
Notable noteworthy notes:
**JUAN URIBE continues to deliver. This guy, despite a .308 OBA, slugs .450 and makes the plays. Who needs Freddy Sanchez?
**MISSISSIPPI FRED LEWIS contributed positively to the two big rallies in his usual, low-key, un-dramatic way. This guy may have played his way into a 4th-OF role, but he remains a useful asset, especially since we lost Andres Torres to injury.
**RYAN ROHLINGER got his chance and delivered in front of 42,000 folks. Rock on, kid, and welcome to The Show.
**JEREMY "Lights-Out" AFFELDT flashed some more of that early-season form, he will be increasingly important in the September madness to come. Like Uribe, a good move this spring by Brian Sabean.
**EIGHT RUNS by the Crockies in the series--that's impressive. I just can't get used to a Giants team that relies on pitching. Not that I'm complaining, it is just so foreign. The Giants have always been a slugging team, and I have to adapt. Looking back on our years of bridesmaid roles and not-quite championships, we never had enough pitching with those teams. Never. Ever. Intuitively, I knew that, even then. No more. This team has pitching--killer, in-your-face, shut-you-down pitching. Even when we get a mediocre start we don't give it up, it's a battle. I should also note Barry "Da Beezy" Zito's matching of Tim's eight shutout innings against the .783 OPS lineup (2nd in the league). That kind of start is what we paid a gazillion dollars for--let's see some more of it.
An incredible win in an incredible series. I hadn't thought it possible. On Tuesday I said the Crockies were better than us. And they were. In their yard. But in our yard, we were better. I absolutely love home-field advantage--all those years of watching the Giants lose in Candlestick makes every home win that much more special.
p.s. Dave Flemming said that Buster Posey, not on the 40-man roster, was unlikley to be called up in the roster expansion. Nuts to that I say, we need a 3rd catcher and we need to see our Six Million Dollar Man in action!