In The Land Of Hope And Dreams: Giants Are World Series Champions Once Again

A Civic Center Plaza kind of crowd. (Jen Mac Ramos)

Take a time machine to 10 years ago. Find your 10-years-ago self and tell them that the World Series that year was awful, you know it, but in 10 years, everything will be okay.

“NO. STUPID RALLY MONKEY,” your old self might say. “SCREW THE ANGELS.”

You’ll calm your old self down — or try to at least — and say, “In 10 years, the Giants will have won the World Series twice in three years.”

Your old self won’t believe it, continuing the curse everything about the Angels.

Say that to your 2007 self, too. And maybe even your 2010 self.

It still feels improbable.

The Giants won the World Series twice in three years? No way. Not possible. Come on.

That’s just crazytalk.

There’s just absolutely no way that’ll ever happen.

Right? Continue reading

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World Series Recap: Win Sings A Vogelsong

Vogelsong is of the opinion that screw you. (Jen Mac Ramos)

I.

Three games down, three wins.

That’s where the Giants currently sit going into Sunday.

It’s remarkable, isn’t it? Here they are, up three games to none in the World Series.

What do you do with that? Hope and wish, I guess. Game four on Sunday afternoon, fading through the dusk. Say you’re not nervous at all, you’re a liar. Continue reading

World Series Recap: Madison Bumgarner Is A Strong Bum

The Annoyed Hobo (Jen Mac Ramos)

Doug Fister versus Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner, he of the 2012 postseason starts that did not go well. Fister, he of the Northern California roots and Giants fan background.

With the way the odds were, Fister seemed to just have a better chance of winning this game for the Tigers. Bumgarner hadn’t been having the stellar starts some thought he would have this postseason; Fister has been extraordinary.

Tonight, it was a pitcher’s duel. Continue reading

World Series Recap: Pablo! Pablo! Barry! Barry!

Pablo Sandoval’s all like “SORRY ‘BOUT IT.” (Jen Mac Ramos)

And so the narrative went: Barry Zito going up against Justin Verlander? None chance. No way would the Giants win here.

But Pablo Sandoval happened. Along with the rest of the Giants offense. They chased Verlander out of the game after four innings and 98 pitches.

Zito, though? He went five and two-thirds, giving up only a run. One walk, three strikeouts.

And that was the new narrative they were building for themselves. Continue reading

The Giants Are Going To The ‘Ship

Game six, last of the ninth — AT&T Park showing some of that electric feel in the crowd. (Jen Mac Ramos)

Down three games to one. Your team’s got Barry Zito going for them on the mound in an elimination game.

That’s the end of that, right? No hope, no positive thoughts, no nothing.

Then something happened. You could say it’s because the Giants had luck on their side. Maybe #RallyZito had some magic in it. The fans were actually loud enough. Who knows? But the Giants had it these last three games. Continue reading

NLCS Game Recap: A Speculative Narrative On Barry Zito

Barry Zito does his best Powder imitation. (Photo by Sara Showalter)

A thoroughly hypothetical work, with apologies to Mr. Zito for the undoubted inaccuracies. I freely admit to being one of the many doubters mentioned a couple times in this piece, and to that, I can only say “Way to shut me the hell up.”

 

So you’re a big-league baseball player – already an achievement, at any level. You’re one of the elite, one of the best few hundred people on the planet at doing what you do. And then to be a starting pitcher? That’s practically mythological. The few, the proud, standing on center stage, every move dissected. In the parlance of baseball, you win and lose the game.

And as it turns out, even among the best of the best, you are on another level. You’re part of one of the game’s great rotations, contending year in and year out, and in one glorious year, you are awarded the title of Best Pitcher In Your League. Hundreds of people pitched thousands of baseball games that year. According to the professionals of the sport, you were better than any of them; maybe just as good as one other guy. What a rush that must be for you. What a mountain you’ve climbed. And of course, that comes with other rewards. Continue reading

NLCS Game Recap: Awful On Top Of Failure

Giants, left, is defeated by baseball, right. (Illustration by Mac)

Just how awful was it?

Well, if you’re going by the way everyone talked about the game, it was over the minute Tim Lincecum threw his first pitch.

And I’m going to be straight up honest here: I totally napped throughout the last five or six innings of the game. I can’t even figure it out. That’s probably a good idea in retrospect. It was that bad.

It was the kind of bad where you wish you were watching another game instead except then you realize, “This is the only series that’ll be on until the World Series starts.”

And you feel like you’re going to bang your head against a wall. But don’t do that. That’s not gonna end well. The Giants are already that much of a headache. Continue reading

NLCS Game Recap: We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is A Goon

Ryan Vogelsong don’t give no cares. (Flickr/Dinur)

The 2010 Giants fought their way to the NLCS, only to come up against unstoppable killing machine Roy Halladay, the greatest pitcher in baseball. They had no chance to match the Phillies’ powerhouse offense. Then Cody Ross snuck up behind Halladay and beaned him with a fistful of quarters.

Those same Giants somehow managed to make it to the World Series, where they were met by Cliff Lee, an invincible demigod of postseason pitching. Pundits speculated on what miracle it would take for the Giants to win 4 of 5, as they obviously had no chance in either game against Lee. The Giants’ entire offense mugged Lee in a stairwell, and then when he came back for another round Edgar Renteria was waiting. Continue reading

NLCS Game Recap: Giants Lose, Writer Still Hiding Under Table

We all know that feel, Madison. (Flickr/bsv1990)

Oh for the love of.

That was not fun.

Yeah, the Giants managed to battle back a little. That was good.

But it wasn’t enough.

The Cardinals are a scary good team. It was obviously not going to be a cakewalk for the Giants. Which is fine — they’ve proven themselves before and battled back in the NLDS.

But, this. Man. It’s quite scary to think about how much the Cardinals can do when you least expect it.

It also doesn’t help when you’re expecting it to be a nailbiter — in the sense that it could be a 1-0 game, not 6-0 quickly and then rage-demolishing your nails.

I’ll admit — I ended up tuning out the rest of the game following the 5th inning. Both bullpens just shut everything down and featured some good relievers. It was also a sign that the Giants offense would not get anything done along the way.

So game two is tomorrow. It’s still early in the series to lose hope. Best of seven, after all. (But I’ll still be hiding under the table.)

NLCS Series Preview: BRB Hiding

(Flickr/cseeman)

I don’t know about you, but I’m scared of the Cardinals. After Friday night’s game where they came back and beat the Nationals? Eeeeesh.

The Giants have faced teams that seemed to overmatch them. Same can be said about a lot of other teams. It’s also just … very nerve wracking.

Madison Bumgarner’s set to start game one. Ryan Vogelsong’s on the mound for game two. Solid, decent, what more can you ask for when Matt Cain can’t be the game one starter? Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito are reportedly available out of the bullpen for games one and two.

As far as pitching goes, it seems to be pretty decent. A couple of reliever changes are possible, but I wouldn’t expect for Sergio Romo, George Kontos, Jeremy Affeldt, and Javier Lopez to be off the roster. Continue reading