Are you kidding me? Who the hell are these guys? How do they keep doing this? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???
It's not like I doubted the Giants could get to the playoffs and do some damage in the first round, but I don't think any of us could have expected to be in a situation like this.
About 5 minutes after the dust settled, I said out loud-- partly to my dad, and partly to no one-- "We're up 3-1. I can't believe it. We're up 3-1. This is really happening."
There is simply no apt way to describe the feeling most of us have right now. Over a lifetime as fans, we devote tens of thousands of hours, spend thousands of dollars, and invest immeasurable amounts of emotion in our teams. We do all this in hopes that when it's all said and done, someday we are in a position like we're in right now.
We are one game from the World Series.
I almost don't even want to say it. I feel like we're in the 7th inning of a perfect game... shhh! Don't say it!
With another dream Lincecum/Halladay matchup set to begin Thursday evening, we must remind ourselves that this series is not even close to being over. Halladay is capable of shutting us out, as is Roy Oswalt during a potential Game 6 in Philadelphia. With that said, here are my observations from Games 3 and 4.
-- Matt Cain was an absolute monster. After a horrible performance in the regular season's final series against San Diego, I was worried about him a little bit. After a tough luck loss against Atlanta, I felt a little better. But after Tuesday's performance, I fully expect to win whenever he starts.
-- Cain and Buster Posey are what you call "old souls". With Cain, a longtime veteran at the age of 26 and Posey, a 23 year old rookie, there is a calming presence that the two of them bring to the table. I imagine that their quiet, confident demeanors, steady emotions, and workmanlike attitudes rub off on their teammates-- and I'm not talking about only the young ones.
They act as though they've been there a million times, although neither has. I tell you, if all hell broke loose, you'd want those two guys around... and not just because they're both country boys who could probably get a seized up motor running and tie a clean Carolina rig onto 10 lb. test mono-filament line. They basically set the example of what a big league ballplayer is supposed to be. Truly remarkable considering their ages.
-- Edgar Renteria on Cain's performance: “CAIN IS UNBELIEVABLE. WHEN I SAW HIM IN THE FIRST INNING, I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A BIG GAME FOR US. JUST TRY TO SCORE ANY RUNS.”
-- And how good has Javier Lopez been? Silent Assasin? I like it.
-- Madison Bumgarner again looked solid. His 6 strikeouts seemed to be par for his course lately. He battled, but didn't have his best stuff. Hey, he was better than Philly's 4th starter, Joe Blanton.
-- Santiago Casilla can be extremely erratic at times. He's been pretty solid up until this series. He worries me a bit. Some of these bullpen guys look like they're "leaking oil".
-- Cody Ross--- excuse me, Cody "Boss" had another huge hit. Remember when all you jerks were mad at him for that error he made in RF a month ago? I told you he was a good player. He is simply on a hot streak that not even he can comprehend. As good as our pitching has been, Mr. Rosstober has been equally important... and I don't see this stopping anytime soon.
-- Sandoval got a huge double. Nice to see. It gave us the lead, and it gave him a boost of confidence.
-- Sandoval immediately took this boost of confidence, and grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and one out. In case you were wondering, that was double play #26 on the season.
All Pablo needed to do was hit the ball into the outfield for a sac fly. He is a continuing liability at the plate, and I will continue to dislike him until he becomes a smarter baseball player.
And look how important that run was! WE NEEDED THAT RUN! Because...
-- Bochy doesn't get it. He still doesn't friggin get it. SERGIO ROMO CANNOT BE TRUSTED! I don't care that he rebounded after that run-scoring hit he allowed. This is the playoffs and he obviously is not pitching well enough. I know Bochy is a player's manager and he LOVES "sticking with his guys", but if there are two guys that cannot be trusted to get out of tight, inherited jams, it's Romo, and to a lesser extent, Casilla.
And back to that Sandoval GIDP... NOW DO YOU SEE, YOU MORON ZOO ANIMAL PANDA! GET THE RUN HOME!
-- Andres Torres has probably earned himself a start after showing signs of life in the past two games.
-- Nate Schierholtz is now an automatic out. He is officially approaching Rowand territory in hitting uselessness, and I honestly think he should start laying down a bunt up the 3rd base line ever time he hits until they start playing him in.
I met him once. He's a good guy, and I don't like disparaging good guys, but he is just not a good hitter, and is at a career crossroads. Right now, he's looking like a career 4th or 5th OF and defensive replacement. I know it's extremely difficult to produce without consistent at bats, but this is getting ridiculous.
Stretching back into the regular season, Schierholtz is 5-29, a .174 avg.
-- Ryan Howard and Chase Utley look lost for the most part.
-- Buster Posey was 4-4 after appearing tired and "slumpy" in the past couple games. I think the last time I said he was tired he hit a huge home run against San Diego.
And my God, what a play at home plate today. On a crazy/great throw by Rowand, Posey kept the game from getting out of hand with an amazing play at the plate. This guy is incredible.
-- Pat Burrell has a great eye. That is all.
-- Home Plate umpire Wally Bell was horribly inconsistent. This crew has been a disaster overall. Ted Barrett in Game 3 was the only guy worth his salt. Cousins, Iassogna and Bell were just not good. While Cousins and Iassogna don't know the difference between a ball and a strike, Bell just can't seem to remember whether he or not he's going to maintain a zone or just start anew each batter.
-- Charlie Manuel made a couple questionable decisions. Firstly, why leave a young Antonio "Diabeto" Bastardo to face Posey after he was brought in to face Huff, a lefty on lefty matchup? After all, Bastardo doesn't have much experience and righties like Posey hit .300 off of the bastard in '10. Why not bring in Madson right there?
-- The whole Oswalt thing was bizarre. I know he's awesome and everything, but why not bring in Lidge for the 9th? I know it wasn't a save situation, but if you're down to the bottom of the barrel, do you think it's wise to use a guy going on 2.5 days rest? And oh yeah, It was more like 4 hours rest, because Oswalt threw a scheduled side session before the game.
And this move came from the guy who didn't want to start Roy Halladay on three days rest, leaving Blanton available for long relief work. Philly fans want Manuel's head on a platter right now. And they may get it.
-- I just checked the comment feed on the Philly.com game story. HILARIOUS. I just wish I could get Sylvester Stallone to read them all in his Rocky voice. Here is my favorite:
"Can we keep the Phillies biggest annual October choker Rollins nailed to the bench. He got picked off in the 2nd. He ended both the 4th and 5th innings by striking out with runners on. In the 7th he booted a tailor made double play that could have lost the game. In the 8th he comes up with a runner on 2nd, no outs and pops up. The next time someone calls this career .224 October hitter a big game player, they should be put in jail."
Philly fans are so much more entertaining when they're losing... hahaha
-- How huge was Juan Uribe? He comes into the game cold, and immediately makes a helluva play to nail Ross Gload at first. Say what you will about his range, but he is an above average shortstop and I want him back in 2011.
-- Oh yeah, and he also hit a sac fly to win the game. See Pablo, that's how you do it. What an exhilarating moment for Giants fans. Juan Uribe became only the 4th player in Giants history to hit a walkoff RBI. Wild.
Did anyone have success with the radio delay?