19 July 2010

92 down. 70 to go.

Picture a game like any other game. The score is close, but the home team trails by two late. A five-game winning streak and a four-game sweep are on the line. One of the best pitchers in the game just shut down their bats for eight innings, and now they're faced with one of the most storied closers of the past decade. But something stirs in their souls, incites them to action, and sparks a winning three-run rally. The crowd bursts into spontaneous glee. The players leap over the dugout rail. The celebration is underway, and the kids are about to run the bases... That's when Phil Cuzzi makes the worst call of his professional umpiring career. He calls Travis Ishikawa out, instantly becoming the hated enemy of 38,000 people in the park and thousands of Giants fans at home. To blame the loss entirely on the blown call is not difficult. Very seldom do you see a "game-changing" call occur on what could be the final play of the game. Usually, this call comes earlier in the game, affecting every play thereafter to the point that an accurate prediction of the outcome had the call gone another way is virtually impossible. But this call is unequivocal in its meaning: Cuzzi gets it right, the Giants win, and a day when we went 1-for-15 with RISP is forgotten in a maelstrom of orange and black insanity. Instead, me and the other 38,000 suckers went home shaking our heads and dreaming up elaborate plans for revenge.

I was consumed by political activity over the weekend and did not have time to post about Saturday's game, which was fun on a lot of levels. Shotgun Cain got some offense and used it to his advantage by throwing strikes. He stretched the starters' scoreless streak to 23 innings before Ike Davis deposited one into the Arcade, in an eerie premonition of Sunday's endgame. Pablo Sandoval continued to impress in the second half with a great night against left-handed pitching. And Buster Posey... well...

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