We’re in the Magic Inside This Thing
This year, the slogan that Giants PR department came up with was “It’s magic inside.” Last year, late in the season they came up with “We’re in this thing.” Whatever this magical thing we’re in is, it feels a lot like a combination of having an ulcer for 9 innings every day, and riding Space Mountain at Disneyland 100 times in a row on a stomach full of cotton candy. You may love Space Mountain, and the cotton candy was delicious, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t reduce you to weeping in the corner when it’s all said and done.
So where do we stand now? For tonight, we’re two games up on the Padres, with the Rockies officially eliminated from playoff contention thanks to the Dodgers. The Cubbies have decided to play spoiler for San Diego in front of 17,000 faithful in Southern California, while the Giants draw a nice series at home in the Diamondbacks. What stands out first and foremost for me personally is the atmosphere of AT&T Park compared to Petco tonight. Being in Seattle, I was forced to watch both games picture-in-picture on my computer, and to be completely frank, Petco sounded like a graveyard. In comparison, the Phonebooth was buzzing from the 1st inning until the very last pitch.
A friend of mine who happened to be in attendance tonight at AT&T texted me during the 9th inning, saying that “you can feel the sense of urgency here.” And truly, that about sums it up. Urgency is exactly the emotion that every game brings. With five games left to play, every pitch, every inning and every double play directly affects the fate of the Giants’ postseason hopes. If you thought the Giants were going to cruise to a comfortably-padded division lead late into September at any point in the season, then clearly you haven’t been watching games this season.
This season will come down to the very last, gut-wrenching, head-exploding Brian Wilson fastball with the bases loaded in a 1-0 ballgame. Anything less would be against the very nature of this team. As Giants fans, we know no other reality than this, and a painful reality it is. To have it end in a postseason berth though somehow makes the torture-inducing Giants baseball worth it all. This is a team that has been starved of October baseball for too long. Our last taste of the playoffs involves a fair amount of Jose Cruz Jr. flyball dropping and J.T. Snow getting thrown at home plate to end everything.
Way back in May, when it became painfully obvious that the main contender the Giants would be battling with was the Padres, we all looked at that final season on the schedule and knew in our heart of hearts that the fate of the division title would come down to those three games. So far, this prophecy has held strong. That said, we can’t look past the Diamondbacks. A win tonight was just dandy. Ideally, two more will follow. Realistically though, this may not happen. Or it might. I may just be high from the change you can believe in from the magic inside this thing, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic, with an extreme emphasis on the “cautiously.” Either way, we’re at the point where losing really isn’t an option. So let’s do that thing that isn’t losing. In some circles, I believe they call that “winning,” but I may need to check my sources.