The Giants Win the Pennant? The Giants Win the Pennant. The Giants Win the Pennant!
There are a few things that absolutely require commentary. Perfect games. Miracle comebacks. Winning the pennant. These are all things that merit at the very least a passing mention. Tonight falls under this umbrella of “Holy mother of Christ how can you not say something about this?”
I’m going to be honest. After Bronson Arroyo bent the Giants over in Game 2 of the NLDS, this season felt over. Not many teams can come back from losing to the corn-rowed hair horrible guitar playing curveball mastery that was Arroyo. Then the Giants did something weird. They went to Cincinnati needing to win three straight. And they went ahead and won three straight.
Along came the Cardinals, with the Giants drawing home field advantage. After four games against the defending World Series champs, this season really felt over. Like “start making plans for Spring Training” over. Barry Zito was handed the ball with everything on the line. Because nothing in the postseason makes any damn sense, Zito shut down the Cardinals and got the ball to Ryan Vogelsong who followed with a similar performance.
If you come up to me in 2009 and tell me that the Giants will be saved in the NLCS in 2012 by Barry Zito and some guy who spent a few years pitching (unsuccessfully) in Japan, I would have had you hauled off to the nearest mental hospital because time travel doesn’t exist and if it does you can’t be trusted to be out in the world. But it happened.
If the last two weeks have been indicative of anything, it’s that every postseason is unique. Strange things that make absolutely no sense happen. Sometimes those things happen to the Giants. And sometimes a journeyman middle infielder will hit .500 in a single series after getting steamrolled by a 230 pound middle linebacker named Matt Holliday.
I can’t pretend to understand what exactly is going on. The 2010 postseason was defined by tense pitching duels and Brian Wilson loading the bases every damn time he pitched. The Giants won by the skin of their teeth in games that raised the collective blood pressure of an entire city and in the end we got a parade out of it. This time around things have been different. Not better, not worse, just different.
This is a team just two years removed from their previous World Series incarnation. The pitching staff for the most part is intact, give or take a Vogelsong. The similarities on offense end with Posey, Sandoval, and Aubrey Huff. This time around there’s an alien bug creature playing right field and an opposite-field-hitting superhuman playing second. The one thing that the 2010 and 2012 teams have in common though is the strange twists of fate that follow them everywhere they go.
I’ll conclude my scattered rambling here. Hunter Pence hit a ball three times in one swing tonight. The sky opened up and submerged the infield with two outs to go in the ninth. The Giants came back not once, but twice to win a series where for all intents and purpose they were dead in the water. On Wednesday, they face the same pitcher that Pablo Sandoval tripled off in the All-Star game to help net the National League home field advantage. I’m done trying to predict anything with this team, but you can bet I’ll be the one weeping in the corner no matter what happens.