Here's what I take away from this series.
Before the season started, Joe Sheehan made picks for the postseason and individual awards for SI.com. It wasn't pretty. He picked Clayton Kershaw to win the Cy Young (gross), Matt Kemp to win the MVP (shudder), and the Dodgers to win the National League West (barf). It seemed like a huge stretch on all counts. Kershaw still had that post-teenage wild hair up his nose. Matt Kemp wasn't that good last year. And the Dodgers winning the West would have just been awful, and it was unlikely to boot.
So the Giants gave the Cy Young to Clayton Kershaw. There are arguments for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, and Ian Kennedy if you're 83 years old and sun-addled, but it's going to Kershaw. The voters will unconsciously concoct some ex post facto excuse to not vote for Lee and Halladay -- they gave each other secret, unfair, teammate pitching tips that go against the spirit of the award! -- and Kershaw will get it.
And it's not like the Giants have automatically given the MVP to Matt Kemp, but they sure as crap didn't help. Tonight, they might have helped him get the Triple Crown. Seriously, it's amazing that there isn't more national hype about this. Ryan Braun is hitting .330 to lead the NL. Kemp is now at .326. Turns out that a 4-for-4 night will raise the ol' batting average. Pujols hit a homer tonight, so he still leads with 37. Kemp now has 36. And Kemp leads in RBI with 118, with Ryan Howard in second with 113.
Matt Kemp could win the Triple Crown. The last guy to do that in the N.L. was Ducky Joe M.F. Medwick in 1937. Kemp could do it. He was way behind in average, and he lost a homer to Pujols, but, hey, Zito. It's not like Bumgarner helped, but it was Zito with the cherry on top. There's an "All My Children" plot twist for you. "I thought you were ... but they told me you had ... Barry? Barry, is that you?"
But the Dodgers didn't win the NL West. The Giants were usurped by awful pig-men, but it wasn't the Dodgers who did it. Kershaw might have won the Cy Young, and Kemp might have won the MVP, but the Dodgers still had a dismal year. It's a sad sunbeam to nap in, but it's about all we have*.
*Other than the World Series last year, of course!. Use that when you can because the memories do fade. I can't remember what it was like to watch Steve Young hit Jerry Rice on a post pattern while all of the Chargers fans in the room gasped. I was there. It happened. But I can't remember what it felt like. The specifics are fuzzy. It leaves you. Roll around in it while you can! There is no shame in it!
There could have been worse ways for this season to end. The order of teams I don't want to see beat the Giants: Dodgers, Padres/Rockies (tie), Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks still annoy me, mind you, but they don't have the Padres/Rockies annoyance factor just yet, not close. If the Dodgers had been the ones to take the West after the championship ... that would have felt bad, man.
Crap series to punctuate the crap sentence that reads "This season was crap!" Yeah, there's no getting around that. And the Giants' flailing might have given the Dodgers a Cy Young winner -- their first since Gagne over Jason Schmidt! Hooray! -- and the Giants' pitching, while beyond reproach, might have helped Matt Kemp do amazing things. But the Giants will finish ahead of the Dodgers, dang it. And the Dodgers will still have Ned Colletti and financial problems and those Eugenio Velez stains all over the clubhouse that you can't even get out with a power sander and James Loney back on a two-year deal because of his surge and Aaron Miles and Ned Colletti.
There will be time for a proper postscript on the season. Right now, I'm just glad the Dodgers aren't that happy either.
Wish the Giants had an MVP and Cy Young contender.
Maybe Romo will win the Jeff Nelson Award for Setup Excellence.
Wonder what's on TCM.
/puts in World Series DVDs
//dresses up like Norma Desmond
///closes book on 2011
////damn, baseball has a long season