There was no way to complain about how the postseason had gone before tonight. The Giants were 5-2 in their first seven playoff games. Come on. But there was that nagging, ugly footnote to the run of success: The Giants had done it mostly without Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, and Buster Posey. Those four players were why the Giants of 2010 were division winners when the 2009 Giants were frustrating also-rans. Yet all of those players had been phantoms in the NLCS. And that’s to say nothing of Pablo Sandoval, who was buried on the bench, and Juan Uribe, who was slumping and hurt.
The Giants were winning behind Cody Ross and great starting pitching, which was something else, but there was no way that template was going to hold up throughout the postseason. The Giants needed their offensive core to start resembling an offensive core.
Welcome back, non-wretched Giants offense. You went out for a pack of smokes, and...and...we feared the worst.
Andres Torres and Pat Burrell took walks that turned into crucial runs. Aubrey Huff was timely with the two-out hits, and he eventually scored the winning run. Buster Posey had fantastic at-bats all night long, and his opposite-field approach put Huff at third with one out. Pablo Sandoval hit two doubles in one at-bat, showing a focus that had come and gone all year.
One more win. A loss would have turned this series into a best-of-three affair in which the Phillies had homefield advantage, with Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels lined up. It’s impossible to minimize this win.
First-and-third, one-out situations are scary things for this Giants team. There are so many ways to get that run home. A wild pitch. A fly ball. A single. An error. And there is one, brutal, painful way to make sure, with just one swing, that the run doesn’t score. I love Juan Uribe. I was terrified that his wrist wouldn’t allow him to hit any inside fastballs from Roy Oswalt. I started cycling through all of the permutations of how the torture could extend. For a split-second, I thought the wheel of misfortune had stopped on "pop-up."
And then there were jazz hands. That’s how the discerning Giants fan knew everything was going be alright. Contact. Fly ball? Jazz hands
One more win. Come on, now.