Monday, October 22, 2012

Forget logic, this is Game 7

From the moment we discover sports as children, we dream of this kind of situation. I remember the night before little league games, not being able to sleep as I fantasized about hitting game winning HRs and being mobbed by teammates. I remember shooting hoops in the driveway before dinner, narrating a farcical playoff moment out loud as a attempted a turnaround jumper. 

I usually missed the shot, lol.

At some point, we've probably all imagined a Game 7 winner take all contest-- either as a player or as a fan. There is nothing like it. The urgency is off the charts and the emotions are immeasurable. The rollercoaster effect of depression and elation is incomparable for those of us invested in our team, like we are.

For both the Giants and Cardinals, there were times this season when it was hard to imagine them managing to get to this point. Just 4 days ago, as the Giants lost another demoralizing game to go down 3-1 with one left to play on the road, I couldn't envision them doing what they've managed to do (AGAIN). I wanted it to happen of course, but the logical part of my brain prepared me for the ultimate disappointment of not making a comeback. 

I HATE that logical part of my brain. It sucks.

It mostly sucks because we had just seen our boys make a valiant comeback against the Reds on the road-- winning 3 tough games against a good team to advance. 

And of course, back from the dead, they do it AGAIN. 

This team has taken that little logical part of brain matter that we all have, surgically extracted it, and thrown it into a giant slurry grinder that makes wet cat food in cans. 

"You won't be needing that anymore, will YOU??"

I guess not.

The logical thing to think was that Tim Lincecum, relegated to the bullpen and seemingly thriving, would go all "vintage freak" on their asses and save us all. Unfortunately, he failed to pitch well in a game that was beyond important for both his career and the team. He wasn't good, and we've seen him be well... not good... most of the year. At the time, it seemed logical. Timmy was a big game pitcher, he'd build on his bullpen success and whip us all into a frenzy and make us think twice about supporting the expiration of his contract in 2013! Not so.

With our backs against the wall and a seemingly impossible scenario staring us in the face, we all turned to Barry Zito.

As I sprawled in my bed after that Game 4 loss, depressed and half-heartedly listening to the KNBR postgame show, I began to see my Twitter timeline filled with funny pictures of Zeets. A #RallyZito movement was underway. What had started as a funny and good-natured way to keep each other off the ledge, transformed into something bigger than the game itself.

That #RallyZito movement was something that I'll forever remember, because of the baggage attached to that Game 5 start. We all know the Zito story, and we even know how lame he was in his start against the Reds the series before. What transpired on that chilly St. Louis night by the most maligned Giant since Armando Benitez, was nothing short of heroic... and illogical.

It was probably the most incredible and gutty performance I've seen because of the demons he exorcised on the mound and the context that he accomplished it within. You could almost see pale spirits exiting Zito's body on the mound, as the weight began subsiding from his shoulders.

It was a moment that made me proud to be a Giants fan and it really made me happy for Zito himself. For all the work he puts in and all the hell that he's been through trying to live up to an impossible contract, that HAD to feel amazing for him. Sometimes confidence cures what ills you.

After a beastly, strikeout filled romp by a suddenly impenetrable VogelStrong in Game 6, he we are. 

We have our horse, Matt Cain on the mound. We have our crowd with its orange rally rags, and there is seemingly nothing that we would change about the scenario.

Of course, I wish that we were facing an emergency starter or something, but we aren't.

Kyle Lohse has had an inconsistent career, but he has had an incredible season, and has only given up 4 ER in 18 innings this postseason. He's from Chico, and the story would be just as great for the Cards, if they manage to win.

It's a matchup for the ages, and both teams will be up to the task. If we happen to lose, obviously I will be crushed. 

The way in which this team has rallied and banded together however, has made me proud regardless of the outcome. The ultimate goal is always to win the World Series, but win or lose, this team has had a successful season. 

I don't think that'll happen though. 

I feel like once again, this is some sort of crazy team of destiny that extends beyond the NLCS. All I know, is that tonight, throw logic out the window, because you aren't going to need it.

Go Giants!.

1 comment:

  1. What would be illogical is Cain getting belted around for 5 runs in 2 innings. I really hope things just get logical for a change, just this once.