The archetype of Giants-related torture wasn’t the miserable third inning, in which a hitter-falling-down-on-his-backswing bloop, a smart hitter sticking his elbow out, a foul bunt that wasn’t, an error, and a solid single somehow led to an insurmountable lead. That’s only a small part of a larger torture. The real torture came with the Giants getting out of the inning after limiting the damage. The real torture came with the Giants getting closer and closer, having a fantastic approach against Roy Halladay, hitting balls hard, but only able to scratch out a couple of runs. The real, tender, marrowy-delectable, gourmet part of the torture is that the Giants stayed close enough the entire game for you to hold out hope.
You held out hope that the Giants were going to win that game, didn’t you, you silly little thing?
The torture would have ended if the Phillies had put up an eight-run inning early and Roy Halladay was at his dominating best. We could have made peace with a loss early, steeling ourselves for a return trip to Philadelphia. That’s not how this season works, though. That wasn’t on the schedule. A quick, tidy, out-in-five series wouldn’t do. Oh, no, no, no. The Giants needed to take us out of our comfort zone because they’re twisted monsters.
Shake it off, just like the Ankiel game. You’d forgotten about Rick Ankiel, hadn’t you? Exactly. Pretend last night was the frustrating morale wedgie, and tonight was the walk-off win. Momentum is nonsense, and the Giants need to win just one more game to make it to the World Series.
Of course, Saturday is going to be a one-run game. You’ll watch it with your your esophagus liquefying and bubbling up and over your tongue along with the rest of your innards. You’ll lose some hair, a year off your life, and probably some self-respect. It’s Giants baseball. You’re in handcuffs, you’re not sure if you’re part of a magic act or some sick freak’s dungeon, and you sure as hell don’t know what the safe word is.
The template for a team without homefield advantage is simple. Split on the road, win two of three at home, split on the road. So when the Giants won last night’s game, it was like they were playing with house money tonight.
But, oh, how easy it was to think greedy thoughts.
Still holds true. Just would have been a lot cooler if they had won tonight. That’s all.