Randy Winn doesn't know any better. He may or may not have been watching when the Giants lost Game Six. He might have caught the Sportscenter highlights of the Cody Ransom debacle last year. He might not have. He wasn't around early in the year, when players like Matt Herges and Jim Brower were breaking hearts. So, it was perfect that Randy Winn was the one to keep the Giants breathing. He's like the Looney Tunes character who runs off a cliff, but the laws of gravity don't apply unless he looks down. And danged if he isn't taking the whole team with him.
The only way to minimize this win is to point out the Giants are still fighting the uphilliest of uphill battles. True enough, but for 24 hours there's been a stay of execution. They're greasing up the electric chair right now, but we're content to sup on the lobster and fine wine of a last meal. Last night, we finally got the win back which we had been so charitably passing out to other teams. Two outs, nary a runner in scoring position, victory in hand for the Padres. Our crack squad of bullpen heavers specialize in things like that. They would hunker down in a war room, trying to figure out how they can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the last possible second, getting better at it each time. The Giants as an offensive unit didn't do comebacks.
I remember thinking, man, we never do anything against Trevor Hoffman. Pedro Feliz hit a home run off him in some random 2000 game to cut the Padres lead to one, and the Giants still lost. That's probably selective memory working, but the Giants just don't hit Hoffman. Cartoon character Randy Winn had no idea. I picture a reporter going up to Winn after the game, asking if he was looking for a changeup, and getting the reply, "Hoffman throws a changeup? I'm pretty sure he's a fastball-slider guy."
The recap of the game was writing itself. With Jake Peavy on the mound, the Padres are a much better team than the Giants. There was no shame or curse involved with this one. Peavy's a heck of a pitcher, and for one night the Giants were outclassed. See you next year. Bonds had his chances, but could only make the San Diegans squeal with delight after every missed opportunity.
Winn wasn't the only fellow worthy of laurels. Brad Hennessey could have collapsed on the backside of the mound, sucking his thumb, after the first two batters came right around to score. J.T. Snow has been almost invisible this season, but he came up with two huge hits and a rousing headfirst dive into a camera. Omar Vizquel somehow cloaks the fact he's been abysmal with the bat for the past four months, mostly by making brilliant play after brilliant play. It was a combined effort, and the best win of the year. There's still a crucial start in this series to be made by Brian Cooper, Matt Kinney, or someone on short rest, but the toughest part is out of the way. Scholars maintain we will never know the actual translation of "San Diego", but the city hosted one heck of a Giants win.
I don't not believe! Say it with me, everybody! I don't not believe!