At this point, I’m done talking match-ups. Nuts to the fifty point OPS advantage one guy has over another. I don’t care that Cole Hamels had a 3.06 ERA this year to Matt Cain’s 3.14. Don’t care what kind of effects their home ballparks had on those ERAs over the course of a season. Really don’t care how they started or finished the season.
Liberating. This is all so liberating. I feel like I’ve ripped my pants off to cavort through a park fountain on a hot summer’s day. Free. I’m free! None of that matters. Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria scored a run today. Aaron Rowand and Edgar Renteria started and scored a run today. Oh, and, let’s see, Cody Ross turned into Matt Holliday after taking a few simple correspondence courses when the regular season ended. Why did read all sorts of series previews and watch all talking head after talking head mumble half-chewed thoughts about how this series was going to go?
I have forsaken my faith. I’m not sure if the Church will take me back.
As a devout member of the Church of Jeff Weaver, and one of the planners for the annual St. Podsednik parade for my church, I firmly believe that any team in the playoffs has a chance to win it all with a well-timed hot streak.
So let’s play around with those pre-series match-ups again.
C: Carlos Ruiz vs. Buster Posey - Push
This might surprise some people, but Ruiz has been fantastic this year. Indeed, when blah blah blah
CF: Shane Victorino vs. Aaron Rowand - Advantage: Giants. Maybe. For at least one game.
I know what the stats say, and I have a hunch that one player is better than the other. But Aaron Rowand will hit a double in the third game of the series, and it will lead to a Giants run. It will be a big insurance run; even though the Phillies will be shut out, there will be comfort to get that third run across. Matt Cain will dance out of trouble a few times, and the Giants will need a few runs to help him relax.
Also, Shane Victorino will not score a run in that third game. Aaron Rowand will. Aaron Rowand. Maybe Victorino will have more of an impact later on in the series, but that third game will be Rowand’s. Why? Because we are living in chaos. We are a bunch of electrons zipping around a great big nucleus of a planet, and we’re attracting and repelling each other, never quite colliding, but threatening to unleash our energy, and here were are, randomized collections of random events and reactions, and MY GOD it all means nothing, but how can there be nothing to mean unless we’re cognizant enough for it to mean EVERYTHING, and Aaron Rowand scored a run on an error, and no one saw that but everyone.
RF: Jayson Werth vs. Cody Ross - Advantage: THE COSMOS
CODY ROSS IS RISEN. THE STAR HAS COLLAPSED UPON ITSELF, AND IT IS DRAWING US CLOSER YET. AARON ROWAND WILL SCORE A RUN. CODY ROSS IS THE STAR CHILD. THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA, AND....
You get the point. Just sit back, appreciate that a good teams are in the playoffs, and the playoffs are freaky collections of seemingly random events, gently guided by things that most certainly aren't random, except for the ones that are. Try to read too much into it, and you go insane like our friend up there. I think that was Peter Gammons, actually, but I was going from memory..
Cody Ross. I mean, come on. Jose Guillen was the starting right fielder until less than three weeks ago.
Also, Matt Cain.
Remember what some folks were yabbering about after Cain got whomped by an Adrian Gonzalez-shaped whomping stick on the last Friday game of the regular season? Cain was tired. Maybe he wasn’t clutch. Maybe he couldn’t handle the pressure. The pressure’s different in a pennant race, don’t you know?
And then Matt Cain.
Still a long way to go. The series isn’t even close to over. Two more wins in the next four games is still a daunting task. But I’d sure rather be trying to win two out of the next four than three out of the next four.