For a night that ended with a definite Russ Hodges moment. it sure didn’t start out like it was going that way. For those who don’t know, Russ Hodges was a radio announcer for the GIANTS–New York and San Francisco–best known for his famous call of “the shot heard round the world.” It was October 3, 1951 and the New York GIANTS and Brooklyn Dodgers were tied for the National League top spot–each team had 97 Wins and 59 Losses–and it was the last game of the season. Back in those days, there were no division play-offs, no championship series. The team in each league with the most wins played each other in the Fall Classic. It came down to this game and these 2 teams for the National League pennant. The Dodgers were leading 4-2, bottom of the 9th–the GIANTS had 2 men on and 1 out. Bobby Thomson was at the plate and he hit a long drive to the lower left field deck–a walk-off home run–prompting Russ Hodges to shout excitedly into the microphone: “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!”
Last night’s game was the 1st time since 1951 that the GIANTS have won the pennant with a walk-off home run. But wait, there’s more! In a game reminiscent of that 1951 game, the GIANTS trailed the Cardinals–until the 8th inning when the GIANTS tied the score. St. Louis scored first, with 1 run in the top of the 3rd. The GIANTS scored in the bottom of the 3rd when Joe Panik delivered a HR–the 1st GIANTS HR in the series–with Gregor Blanco on base. St. Louis scored 2 more runs in the 4th. After 4, the score was:
GIANTS 2, Cardinals 3
St. Louis kept the lead until the GIANTS tied it up with Michael Morse’s solo HR in the 8th. The GIANTS held the Cardinals in the 9th, keeping the score tied as the GIANTS entered their half of the inning. Pablo led-off with a base hit, then Brandon Belt drew a walk. Travis Ishikawa was up next and in a move that was so unexpected–but in typical GIANTS fashion–hit a 3-run dinger for the walk-off win. The final score was:
GIANTS 6, Cardinals 3
I’m going to take a moment to talk about Mike Matheny. Mike Matheny has been the Skipper of the Cardinals since Tony LaRussa retired in 2011. Under Matheny’s management, the Cardinals have reached the postseason every year since Matheny took the job. Last night, after the GIANTS unexpected, but not completely surprising walk-off win, Matheny could be seen tipping his cap to the GIANTS–what a class act.
Now I’m going to talk about the guy or guys who were not class acts last night. Oh, I’m ecstatic, elated–otherwise over the moon about the GIANTS win–but I’m still going to pause a moment to deliver a rant. Throughout the entire game Joe Buck, Tom Verducci and Harold Reynolds staged a sugar-coated love fest for all things Cardinal–especially Adam Wainwright–to the point where I was wondering: do they realize there is another team on the field? Adam Wainwright, according to these guys, pitched an amazing game, “he’s a gamer” according to Harold Reynolds. The starting pitchers in last night’s game ended with very similar lines–the difference being Bumgarner gave up 5 hits to Wainwright’s 4, 3 runs to Wainwright’s 2, and 5 strike outs to Wainwright’s 7. Bumgarner also pitched 1 more inning than Wainwright. I think they were shocked, and yes, I’m going to say it–extremely disappointed when the Cardinals lost. There wasn’t one moment of objectivity in their reporting. It was ridiculous. It was a travesty. Shame on Joe Buck, Tom Verducci and Harold Reynolds and shame on FOX Sports for providing the platform and allowing them to blather on unchecked. They were so unprofessional. Here’s a side-note to the FOX announcers–the pitcher you didn’t talk about? The one you basically ignored? Yeah, that was the NLCS MVP. Put that in your book.
“THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!
and we’re going to Kansas City–Kansas City here we come!