I’m like Rick Reilly right now. I’ve sent off a barrage of text messages in the past half hour, all of them full of exclamation points. Because really, I can’t believe it. I cannot believe it!!!!
I had grandiose plans of watching this game on DVR tonight. I covered the Stanford/Washington St. game for CSN Bay Area this afternoon, and figured I’d get home in time to get the remote in my hand and pull off the maneuver all sports fanatics/remote control experts are familiar with these days: catching up to the game before it ends. Then I found myself stuck behind a line of 50+ cars in the Grove that wasn’t budging. I was getting multiple texts from my buddy Carp. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to check the phone and the radio.
So I missed Jonathan Sanchez reverting back to his prior self. I missed Chase Utley’s inevitable HBP and the ruckus that followed. I missed Jeremy Affeldt’s heroics (I think the Giants just picked up a new reliever to count on!). And I heard Madison Bumgarner’s first inning on the radio before mercifully getting through the traffic jam on 101 North leading into the City, then saw him get out of the 6th inning and further his legend. God, this rotation next year…
But wait, there’s still a World Series to get ready for! And I’m going!!! My stepmom is the post-game MVP tonight, as she immediately ran upstairs in her and my dad’s Eureka home and spent an unknown quantity of dollars on 4 World Series tickets. So not only are the Giants going to the World Series, but so am I!!! And so is my beautiful fiance!!! See why I can’t stop typing exclamation points?!?!?! I never thought I’d get to see a World Series game with my dad, and now that dream is going to come true. Karen, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am forever grateful.
Brian Sabean is too, as all the work he’s done was on full display, and it drove him to tears tonight. Can’t blame him, either. And the best move he ever made was to sign Bruce Bochy, who completely out-managed Bobby Cox and Charlie Manuel.
Juan Uribe. JUAN URIBE!!! Jazz Hands!!!! Thank God the last time Citizen’s Bank reared it’s Little League head in 2010 was in the Giants’ favor, huh?
Andres Torres. ANDRES TORRES!!! I predicted that the team who’d win would be dictated by whether Torres or Shane Victorino had a better series. Torres saved the best for last, and Victorino was nowhere near as pesky as I feared he’d be.
Javier Lopez. JAVIER LOPEZ!!! Really, he’s like the perfect example of a human male right now. I’d marry him, if it were legal. Just kidding, SGL!
Brian Wilson. BRIAN WILSON!!! What an incredible closer. To have the faith in oneself to stay on the outside corner and beyond until the very end shows how smart he really is. And I’ll be honest, I haven’t given him his just due on this site. I’ve mentioned his dominance, but I haven’t gone ga-ga like I have about Buster Posey (who is probably the best defensive catcher this team has ever had other than Kirt Manwaring), Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez or Marty Lurie. But he had a 5-out save against a great team who did everything they could to make his beard look stupid. And the Phillies didn’t. Not even once.
Tim Lincecum can’t be forgotten either. Sure, he gave up a couple singles to lefties, but he struck out the Giants’ biggest enemy: Jayson Werth. Now take your lame facial hair to some AL team like the Baltimore Orioles so we don’t have to deal with your crap anymore, Werth!
Now after the Giants get even more hammered on the plane flight back home than their fans here in the Bay Area will tonight, they need to focus on beating Cliff Lee, who’s threatening to become Sandy Koufax. Of course, Roy Halladay was the best pitcher ever a week ago, and we all know how that turned out.
Speaking of the fans around here, the moments immediately following the win — I’ll never forget them. I came home to an empty apartment after my work in Palo Alto, but I felt a kinship with my neighbors after Wilson struck out Ryan Howard on that incredible slider at the knees (hell yeah, that was a strike!). Once the Giants won the National League Pennant, people were screaming throughout my neighborhood. Out of their windows, on the sidewalk, in cars packed full of revelers driving by. I opened up my window, and I screamed. I had to. Pomeranians don’t really understand baseball moments the way humans do, and my fiance is in LA picking up her wedding dress. But rest assured, I’m no less happy. I know how much everyone reading this feels the love, how much we’ve all suffered, how much we all lost our minds when Uribe hit the biggest homer this team has hit since Brian Johnson brought this team back to the land of the living in 1997.
Our hearts and minds are all going to get tied up in knots again in four days, but tonight it’s time to reflect on what just happened. The Phillies are very, very good. As much as we’d like to cry “East Coast Bias,” there’s a lot of strong baseball minds who respect what the Giants stand for, enjoy AT&T Park, respect Posey/Lincecum/Huff/Ross/Wilson, and looked at this series on paper. But the Giants out-played the mighty Phillies, and have one more crazy, blood-pressure-killing, tortuous series left. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.