2010 World Series

More Game 4 thoughts, with a look ahead to Game 5

This morning, the first thing I saw after my apartment gate shut behind me was a woman walking her dog to Alama Square Park. Not surprising, I live a half-block away and people are always on their way to the park as I walk to work. But this woman was wearing an authentic San Francisco Giants Aaron Rowand jersey. If that isn’t a surreal scene at 9:00 am on a Monday in November, as Bill King said, “There’s nothing real in the world anymore.”

I’m floating around in a sleep-deprived delirium after writing until 2 am last night, and I don’t know what to believe. My buddy Carp’s reaction immediately after last night’s win, via text?: “I kind of don’t know what to think right now.” Neither do I. The Giants just rode an otherworldly performance from a guy who just turned 21 to a 3-1 lead in the World Series. My head is spinning.

Buster, Beards, Brian and Stuff

— Even with that error by Uribe, the defense was superb in Game 4. Forget what the other teams are doing, the Giants’ refusal to look worried by the moment (besides the time when Timmy ran Michael Young back to third for whatever reason) has been their biggest strength this postseason besides their unbelievable pitching staff. Freddy Sanchez was all over the place. Cody Ross made a great diving catch, and both he and Nate Schierholtz put on a first-step clinic in the outfield. Then there was…

— Buster Posey, who not only knows what buttons to push with Bumgarner, he also GUNNED Josh Hamilton. And, he blocks everything either below his ankles or above his shoulders. Sorry Bengie Molina, but you can’t blame Brian Sabean for trading you when Buster was clearly ready and a far better defensive catcher than you.

— Loved Aubrey Huff speaking about Bumgarner after the game, when he said, “Doesn’t act like he’s got much of a personality, but he really does in the clubhouse.” And that home run he hit to DEEP right field made the game seem less like Bumgarner keeping things under control and more like Bumgarner controlling the Rangers.

— That home run, along with Buster’s, was a nice reminder that the Giants have been winning a lot of games without one dinger from their No. 3 and 4 hitters. Posey’s drive was great for a few reasons, including the surprise it gave Joe Buck, the fact that he was about two more 0-2 counts away from making people nervous, and that kid who jumped out of the bleachers and went after the ball on the center field lawn who almost collided with that $50K Fox camera.

— Every single Giants pitcher who isn’t playing is totally bearded up right now. Barry Zito’s got a sweet beard/mullet combo these days, and Dan Runzler is Grizzly Adams.

— Last night’s save game ending appearance for Brian Wilson was the easiest of the season. So, so strange. At least when the Giants were down in the late innings in Game 3 there was a feeling that they might come back. After their 7th inning rally failed against Madison Bumgarner, the Rangers showed about as much fight and energy as the L.A. Clippers in March. Perhaps the knowledge that Wilson was waiting for them had something to do with that.

— One last thing on MadBum: you need to read the two paragraphs Tommy Craggs wrote about Bumgarner this morning. Craggs, one of the best sportswriters in the business (mainstream or blog), puts to rest the silly idea that they’re winning because they’re a rag-tag bunch of quirky misfits:

Last night was a vivid demonstration of just why the Giants are winning, and it has nothing to do with pluck or a loose clubhouse or the oil slick on Brian Wilson’s chin. The Giants are winning because they have such an abundance of great pitching that a guy like Madison Bumgarner — who was reborn as a prospect after finding his velocity in Fresno (he isn’t the first fellow to score some speed in the Central Valley) and who has pitched roughly like Warren Spahn since September — is their fourth starter.

— Edgar Renteria is the Giants’ Derek Fisher, at least this year. Underwhelming regular season (to put it mildly), and lights out in the playoffs. It’s almost worth it to see if he’ll sign at a discount this off-season in case the Giants make the postseason again.

— Speaking of Rowand, I wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest if he made it into the lineup tonight, unless Bochy is really afraid of how Pat Burrell will react to being a DH for one game. I can’t see Pablo Sandoval seeing any more action in 2010, and with Cliff Lee hoping to atone for Game 1 Bochy will want as many lefties in the order as possible. My prediction for today’s lineup? Torres (RF), Sanchez (2B), Posey (C), Burrell (DH), Ross (LF), Huff (1B), Uribe (3B), Renteria (SS), Rowand (CF).

— Admittedly, I don’t have tickets to Game 6 or 7, and I am a superstitious person who won’t be able to relax until the last out of the last game is recorded, if that ends up happening. However, I’d love to see the Giants finish Lee tonight. I didn’t have an opinion on the guy before besides, “He’s a good pitcher for the Indians/Phillies/Mariners/Rangers.” But that was before his backhanded compliment to the Giants’ pitching staff (in response to a question about the Giants’ hitters) before Game 1, and his comments yesterday:

I mean, if the games were played on paper and what people write, then we shouldn’t have to play them. That’s why you go out there. You never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes the best go down, sometimes the worst teams win, and that’s why you go out there and play the game.

Lee just couldn’t help himself. Like before Game 1, he had the chance to toss out a boring cliche, and he couldn’t keep from letting his true feelings be known. And like Eric Karros, Mitch Williams, ESPN as a network, and many others, Lee doesn’t think the Giants aren’t that great. He probably felt lucky to face those “rag-tag” guys instead of his former teammates from Philly. Sure, you have to read between the lines a little to truly get offended by his comments (much like his comments about the Giants’ pitching being what makes their lineup dangerous before Game 1), but trust me, the Giants (especially the fiery Tim Lincecum) know what he said. “Sometimes the worst teams win.” Maybe once, but not twice.

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