Justin Verlander panic does not expire. Justin Verlander panic has no shelf life. Justin Verlander panic can wait until Wednesday.
There's still one more day to revel in the pennant. And I'll be honest with you, it's a heckuva lot easier to enjoy a pennant when a) you had already convinced yourself it probably wouldn't happen five or six different times, and b) that thing back there with Cody Ross and Edgar Renteria and whatever.
I had a problem with the Giants losing to the Cardinals that I wouldn't have had with the Reds. Part of it is that the Cardinals just won the thing, where as the Giants have been in the middle of a drought that's lasted hundreds and hundreds of days. But it mostly had to do with the second Wild Card. I don't want a team to win a World Series title because Oprah is giving out playoff berths. Not yet, at least. Not the first season it exists. Let us all get used to the idea.
It's still hard to believe. Oh, man, the confidence gap between Cardinals fans and Giants fans in the bottom of the second in Game 5. Barry Zito gave up a single to Yadier Molina and a double to David Freese to lead off the inning. Second and third, no outs. Zito. The Cardinals in an elimination game at Busch Stadium. All was lost. All was lost.
The Cardinals scored a run after Molina and Freese got on. It came in the sixth inning of Game 6. It's still hard to process.
Anyway, this was supposed to be a tribute to Marco Scutaro, who had one of the greatest postseasons ever. I got sidetracked with the wonder of this whole pennant thing. Marlon Brando, sitting in the corner, a huge smile on his face, shaking his head and saying, "The wonder … the wonder!" My first idea was write a bunch of words. Boooorrrring. Instead here's a GIF of all 14 of his hits to watch over and over:
Suggested sounds to make when you're alone and watching this GIF at home or the office:
4. Matt Holliday is a horrible, horrible ape-man left over from a Cold War experiment, and he deserves his awful fate!
I go with thwack, myself. That's 14 thwacks, and then everything loops so I can do it again.
Cody Ross was the gold standard of Giants postseason flukiness before Scutaro, and he still is. But Ross did it with power, and he also had games where he wasn't visible. Scutaro was a steady stream of incredulity. The only way it could have been better is if he ran around the bases with one flap down.
Over at Baseball Analytics, they have heat maps of Scutaro's postseason so far. Kind of wondering if, and I'm just riffing here, they should have pitched Scutaro inside at some point? You know, just to mix it up?
Eh, it probably wouldn't have made a difference. Those are the pitches he probably would have put over the fence. Like this:
Bad Marco! That is not nice, and ambulances are here to help people!
There you go. That's the good Marco Scutaro. So here's to him. Raise a glass, everybody. To Marco Scutaro: the greatest second baseman to ever play baseball.
(And, hey, Freddy Sanchez, you're still pretty cool. Don't think we've forgotten about you.)
(It's probably a good thing that Nick Noonan didn't develop into a somewhat-functional major-league second baseman right away, now that I think of it.)
(TO MARCO SCUTARO!)