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Giants Facing Cardinals in NLCS, Bumgarner Starting Game 1

The Giants will face an old friend in the National League Championship Series, and it looks like we all hate that old friend's stupid face.

Thearon W. Henderson - Getty Images

Here's the thing about comeback dust. You start out, and it's a big ol' party. You're with your friends, and you're goofin', and everything's amazing. You're coming back from six-run deficits, partying all night, and going into work the next day.

There has to be a comedown, a point where you're sleeping on top of a patio umbrella like Snoopy and wondering, how did I get here? There just has to be.

The Giants now have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. And if they want to get to the World Series, they'll have to get through a team that's hopped up on comeback dust. In the last two postseason series the Cardinals have played, they've waged historic comebacks -- down-to-their-last-strike-oh-no-wait-guard-help comebacks. The last time the Cardinals lost a normal playoff series like a normal team, Vicente Padilla shut them down. When he was on the Dodgers. Do you even remember Vicente Padilla on the Dodgers? Do you even remember the Dodgers being good? It's all so strange.

Comeback dust is basically Orthrus hair, chopped up, and cut with David Freese's dandruff. And it will mess you up. The Giants are right to be scared. The Cardinals might win another World Series, or they might wake up in Deebo's pigeon coop.

So you can go two ways. You can believe the Cardinals are a team of destiny, a team that doesn't play by the rules or the odds, and a team that will never lose another playoff series again, forever and ever.

Or you can believe that what the Cardinals did was the equivalent of Bengie Molina hitting for the cycle. What they've done in the last two playoff series is unprecedented, unlikely, and unrepeatable. Sure, they can beat the Giants. But they'll do it the normal way, dammit.

Look, I'm not telling you what to believe. You can be a person of faith, or you can be a person of science. Either way is cool. Anyone who thinks he or she has all of the answers is an unpleasant person.

All I know is that Madison Bumgarner is starting Game 1. Ryan Vogelsong is starting Game 2. These games will be in San Francisco. If you can't feel at least reasonably hopeful with that, what are you doing here in the first place? You could save a lot of energy if you'd just relax and read what happened in November.

I'm going with Bengie Molina cycle. And I'm scared for this series for all the reasons I'm normally scared: In a short series, nonsense can happen. Daniel Descalso had a .627 OPS this year. But he looked like Chase Utley against the Nationals. Pete Kozma had worse numbers in the minors than Emmanuel Burriss. But he's a postseason star. Both of those guys are why the Cardinals are playing the Giants.

So screw it. Ryan Theriot with a bases-loaded double. Hector Sanchez with a triple when you least expect it. Barry Zito with a four-out save. It's time to get weird. But it's not time to worry about the Cardinals' magic comeback dust.


Until Romo has two strikes and a two-run lead.

Oh god.

This is happening.

Come baaaaack, Nationals. Come baaaaaack.

You know what? I'm not scared of this cow town. Yeah, that's right, cow town. COWTOWN. IT'S A COW TOWN. LOOK AT THE COW TOWN, PEOPLE. IT'S A COW TOWN.

/plays Slayer and runs into furniture