WORLD SERIES #SFGiants #NLCS

It is going to take something really, really special to replace the Barry Zito redemption story on my list of favorite Giants’ stories of all time.

But, Travis Ishikawa.

Before he came up I tweeted this:

It is written…

Because, of course. It’s the perfect story: guy almost quits…guy gets picked up by old team…guy plays well…guy finally makes mistake…everyone remembers he shouldn’t be here…guy comes up with a chance to redeem himself and send his team to the World Series…and then guy hits home run.

I mean all he needed was a base hit. He also could have walked. We’ve appreciated the Ishi walk before.

Nope. Home run. Let’s go home.

It was written.

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Think about all your favorite Giants: Bonds, Kent, Aurillia, Snow, Thompson, Davis, Leonard, Clark, Williams, Burks, Alou. Go way back: Mays, Cepeda, McCovey.

None of those guys hit a walk off home run to send the Giants to the World Series.

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The Fox team went on and on (and on and on) about how awesome Wainwright was. And he was good. He had the curveball going and he used some trickery to keep guys off-balance.

But Bumgarner was good too. He retired the last 13 batters he faced. He bent but never broke. 15 1/3 innings, 3 runs.

And he’s the MVP.

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You just knew Michael Morse was going to do something awesome, and he did.

My dad’s friend nearly caught the ball too.

Love that weird dude so much.

(Also, love that it was the left fielders, after so many years with THE left fielder, hitting home runs to win this game.)

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Happy for Tim Hudson. 16 years, first World Series.

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Loved seeing Sabean in tears immediately after the game.

Loved Bochy quoting Harbaugh: “Nobody’s got it better than us.”

Loved the fact that these guys are celebrating like this has never happened before.

Act like you’ve been there before during the games, celebrate like it may never happen again afterwards.

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Bochy with the Giants: 8 postseason series wins, 0 loses.

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Joe Panik broke the home run drought. Of course he did. Another Giants’ second baseman doing something amazing in the postseason.

You just knew they needed homers.

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Brandon Crawford and Jeremy Affeldt saved the season. Talk about Morse, talk about Ishikawa, give the MVP to Bumgarner. They all deserve it.

But, that ball that deflected off Panda’s glove right to Crawford could have been a disaster. But, Mr. Smooth, Brandon Crawford, calmly caught it and winged a perfect throw to Joe Panik. HUGE out, huge play.

And then, Casilla had no idea where the ball was going, and it got really bad against Cruz. Bochy pulled him. Affeldt came in and immediately restored order.

One of the greatest Giants of all time: Jeremy Affeldt.

The door was slammed, and the stage was set.

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Grant wrote earlier this week (after Game 2) that the Giants have lacked walk-off awesomeness in their postseason history. They proceeded to then do it twice.

I like walk off wins.

I like baseball.

That was awesome.

-SB

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3 Thoughts on Game 3 #SFGiants #NLCS

1. The Giants are lucky. We are never going to get away from this narrative. Forget the fact that the Giants scored 4 very legitimate runs in the first inning. Forget that for all the angst about the offense, and for all the home runs the Cardinals are hitting, the Giants have outscored them 12-9 so far. Forget the good start by Tim Hudson, and the strong bullpen pitching by various old friends (Affeldt, Casilla, Lopez, and Romo). Forget the great defense by Pablo and Blanco. Forget the great at bat by Crawford, the redemption of Juan Perez (bunt goat to base hit master), and forget that Blanco laid down a great BUNT, one that he might have beaten out even if the throw was on target.

No, the Giants are lucky.

Ultimately, I agree with Posey: who cares as long we win. But, I just wanted Joe Panik to get the winning hit/sacrifice fly so bad. I want Joe Buck to have to say nice things about the Giants.

But, really, I just want the Giants to win. So, there’s that.

2. Hat tip to Bruce Bochy. I know some people are complaining about leaving Hudson in for the 7th. It was not a bad move though: he was pitching well, got the first out, had a low pitch count, and the ball was not exactly flying out of the yard. If Hudson gets through that inning, that saves the bullpen and sets everything up for the last 6 outs.

More interestingly, when the lineups came out, I said: “Move Ishikawa up one spot? That’s the big jolt the lineup needs to get going?” And then, unbelievably, there’s Ishikawa up with the bases loaded in the first inning. It seemed so perfect. Ishikawa grounds out, leaves them loaded, and the internet explodes with Giants-related rage.

Nope. He nearly goes yard (that’s a grand slam pretty much everywhere else). Bases clearing double.

Travis Ishikawa: postseason hero.

Overall, I thought Bochy did a great job with this game. Game 3’s are so critical, and the Giants got it done.

3. Petit and Lincecum. There is no reason for Bochy to wait around tomorrow night with Ryan Vogelsong. I love Vogey and hope he pitches 7 or 8 epic innings and leads the team to a win. But, the Giants have Petit and Lincecum fresh and ready to go. Somehow, they have a lead in this series without using Petit, maybe the Giants best weapon in the ‘pen. It’s fairly remarkable to get to a Game 4 and still have such a big card to play.

Sub-thought: how good is Santiago Casilla right now?

He’s good.

Go Giants!

-SB