I want to call this game a classic. You want to call this game a classic. The Dodgers fans would call this game a classic had the Dodgers been victorious. Regardless of who won or lost, this game was a classic. And what exactly is a classic? Webster's Dictionary defines it as "someone who believes that people from certain social or economic classes are superior to others." But, really, it was the most classic because the Giants beat the Dodgers.
It only seems like Clayton Kershaw beats the Giants all the time. That's actually a pretty good belief in situations like this, though, because it feels really, really good to say the Giants beat Clayton Kershaw because that was a fantastic game that he absolutely deserved to "win" (lol pitching win stat). Except Buster Posey absolutely deserved to hit a walk-off home run for the first time in his career. And the Giants totally deserved to win that game. The Giants beat LA by beating Clayton Kershaw and they did it on a walk-off home run by Buster Posey.
That's just the sweet, sweet summary. The details are also a treat. The Dodgers had so many men on base you could order them to deploy to Syria on a "peacekeeping" mission. They left so many men in scoring position even hacky comedians making jokes about the sex lives of married couples are all, "Wow that's hacky." The Dodgers failed to break the game open against Barry Zito and the Giants' so many times that even the St. Louis Cardinals are laughing. But there was even more than that.
We can question Flannery's decision to send Posey all we want and it's a perfectly valid line of questioning. But even Pembleton would, while questioning Flannery, allow that getting runs against Kershaw was going to be tough and that there was at least a very small chance that Matt Kemp could airmail the throw or something could go wrong defensively that even the slow-footed (though made of gold and capable of healing old scars) Posey could maybe, possibly score. Buster Posey was tagged out at home plate after the Giants tied the game but they still won it.
A.J. Ellis had a baserunning blunder earlier on an Angel Pagan fielding blunder and that led to a blunder at home plate. I think leaving all those runners on base was a blunder, too. The Giants were giving the Dodgers the game, really, but the Dodgers gave it right back by virtue of not simply putting their rival away. And they had injuries, but that's what adds to the legend of this one. Ramirez got hurt during the game, Carl Crawford nearly reinjured himself coming in to pinch hit (which is all he could do because he was injured) and did a great job beating Arias for an infield single. THAT WAS GRITTY. THIS GAME HAD GRIT. CLASSIC GAMES CONTAIN HIGHER THAN NORMAL LEVELS OF GAME GRIT.
Barry Zito threw so many pitches at the Dodgers you'd have thought he had a development deal with NBC. When he's on maybe he goes six, but maybe knowing he was facing Kershaw led to him being a bit more cautious. This, somewhat counter intuitively, led to a bunch of walks and hits, but as we've observed with Zito many times over the years, when he stays out of the strike zone he is not nearly as effective. BUT HE GRITTED OUT FIVE GRITTY INNINGS IN A CLASSIC.
A classic where Clayton Kershaw had a no hitter through five; where the Giants finally broke up that no-hitter with a triple, followed by a double, then a single, scored only one run in that sequence, then won the game by completing the cycle on Posey's home run. Oh yeah, and Clayton Kershaw scored the Dodgers' only run following his double. This, after hitting a home run on opening day to effectively win the game for LA.
Classics are all about what we remember. We'll remember this one for Posey's walk-off. The outs on the basepaths, the pitch counts, the stranded runners, the fact that the Giants have 10 comeback victories at this point in the 2013 season, Casilla and, really, the entire bullpen's exemplary relief work to keep the Dodgers down, the fact that Posey had never had a hit of any kind off Belisario prior to the walk-off... that will likely all fade from our memories, but they will be noted here, in this rambling, incoherent response to a classic game. The Giants beat the Dodgers 2-1 because Buster Posey hit a walk-off home run, but he could not have done it without the rest of the guys in the orange jerseys on the field this night playing in such an impressive fashion.
I don't know what these guys think day to day or week to week and if this game will be forgotten by next Friday, so, it's tough to say if they can takeaway anything in terms of pride for something like this, but I'm proud of the Giants.
That was fun.
*Note: I totally stole that dictionary joke structure from TV writer Greg Daniels. I do not regret this.