No, the Giants should not be here. After all, after falling behind 2-0 to the Reds and playing three games on the road, they shouldn’t have been in the NLCS. And after stumbling to a 3-1 deficit agianst the Cardinals, having used an ineffective Tim Lincecum and hoping for Barry Zito (used to be good), Ryan Vogelsong (can’t be this good), and Matt Cain (okay, he’s really good), very few thought they should be advancing on. But because the baseball gods are wacky and because the Giants are a deceptively good team, like those weird dishes that your parents made you where the vegetables are ground up and hidden, they’ll be advancing to the World Series. Sorry, Cardinals, but you don’t get two postseasons of miracles.
The Giants quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the floodgates opened in the third inning, effectively ending the game. Marco Scutaro, your 2012 NLCS MVP (yes, that was just typed), singled, Pablo Sandoval doubled, Buster Posey walked, Hunter Pence doubled on a magic baseball, Brandon Belt singled, Gregor Blanco walked, and Brandon Crawford reached on a fielder’s choice. Boom, there’s your first out in the inning. The Giants would tack on one more run, bringing the score to 7-0, and that was it.
Sure, the Giants added two more runs later in the game and Yadier Molina, in a vain attempt to keep his team in the game, collected four hits, but it was over. It was a swift and cruel exit for the Cardinals, not only ending Kyle Lohse’s best season on a down note (2 IP, 5 R), but the magic story of a team casting off (or lowballing, if you prefer) baseball’s best player only to once again go to the World Series is now lost.
Matt Cain pitched only 5.2 innings, burning up 102 pitches in the process, but the bullpen was plenty good, giving up only two hits and three walks the rest of the way in the blowout.
With the rain falling and Sergio Romo on the mound at the very end, it certainly made for some great pictures. Like this one of a baseball rocketship:
(original: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
So while 2012 has robbed us of the Tim Lincecum - Justin Verlander matchup that many of dreamt about just a few short years ago, we do have one of the best looking World Series in memory, so sartorialists look alive. And get your sleep tomorrow, America, because starting on Wednesday we’ll be staying up late to watch the 108th World Series at 8:07 ET.
If I were to go back in time and create a poll before the start of the season that asked: “Which pitcher will lead the Giants to their first victory of 2012?” the answers would have probably gone in this order:
- Tim Lincecum
- Madison Bumgarner
- Matt Cain
- Ryan Vogelsong
- One of those bearded guys in the bullpen
- Pablo Sandoval’s Brother, Bablo Sandoval
- Barry Zito
- Random fan who wins contest a la the Whoopi Goldberg movie, Eddie.
But because baseball is wacky and weird and wonderful, Barry Zito became just the 19th pitcher to throw a shutout in Coors Field’s launching grounds. It was the first shutout of the season and Zito’s first since April 18, 2003. After allowing only four hits and walking zero, Zito has earned himself 24 hours relief from Giants fans decrying his salary. Sleep well tonight, Barry.
Leading the Giants offensive attack in the 7-0 victory, Pablo Sandoval homered and drove in two and even Brandon Crawford, coming into the game with a 0 OPS+ through three games (a meaningless statistic, but an interesting one from a purely aesthetic viewpoint), drove in three runs.
Even better, we were treated to this image of helplessness from Angel Pagan. If you ever wonder whether we’re truly alone in the universe, this picture answers, yes, yes we are.
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Yeah, I lost some good weight, basically fat. I’ve been working on different kind of strength — endurance strength as opposed to power. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost, but I think I look nice.