There's a lot of postseason left. The Giants will play anywhere from three to 18 more games. All sorts of things are going to happen -- some good, some bad, some soul-spindling, and some transcendent. It's a marathon, not a sprint, which only reminds us that the original Greek runner who inspired the modern marathon died after his run, probably after giving up his game shoes to a compatriot before the run was over.
But tonight. Oh, man. Delusions of grandeur are the fuel behind every post-game playoff celebration, but tonight stands on its own. Tonight made Giants fans feel invincible, even if in the back of our minds we know that we'll start over again tomorrow, pacing around, grinding our teeth with every pitch, cursing at the hitters for not being patient enough or for not being aggressive enough. Uh, probably the former. But tonight. Oh, man.
August seems so, so far away. Tim Lincecum pitched the best game of his career at the best possible time. He did it when everyone's nerves were humming. He did it when the crowd was pulsing. He did it without overthrowing, and he did it without losing command. He threw fastballs right by good hitters, and he made others look like they lived in a world in which the changeup was invented in a laboratory this morning.
There are still a lot of playoffs yet to come. If the Giants have the right mix of luck and talent that all successful postseason teams have, there will be a lot of memorable moments. Tonight stands on its own. It was one of the best games in San Francisco Giants history. Tim Lincecum, from the moment he started carving up the Northwest League, was a skinny, short little vessel that somehow was able to keep our delusions of grandeur from spilling all over the place. Every hope that the franchise would turn the team around started with Tim Lincecum.
In August, things got wobbly. Maybe we had seen the best. Maybe we were fortunate to have seen those two Cy Young seasons, and we should have just kept it at that.
Nah. Tim Lincecum. Oh, man. That guy in August was an impersonator, and the real Tim Lincecum was fighting for the universe's survival in the Crab Nebula. The universe is safe now. And we're better Giants fans for it.