I asked for a win. I prayed or a win. I actually begged and pleaded for a win–making promises I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep. Last night’s game accomplished 2 things: 1) it made it possible for me to breathe again, and 2) it ensured there will be a Game 6.
When the game began, I had high hopes. The GIANTS looked great, Gregor Blanco led-off the bottom of the 1st with a walk, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, and stole 3rd. Hunter Pence hit into a force out–the Royals threw from 3rd to 2nd to 1st–the classic 5-4-3 double play, but they were too late to throw Hunter out at 1st. While all that was happening, Gregor scurried down the 3rd baseline to score the first run of the game. Vogelsong was vintage Vogey–for the 1st 2 innings. But the 3rd inning got away from him somehow. I’m not really sure what happened, in fact I don’t think you can point to any one play and say “that’s where it all fell apart.” It was more like the perfect storm of mishaps, missteps and mistakes. When the dust settled, the Royals had scored 4 runs and Vogey was out of the game. Bochy brought Machi in, and I started to shake. Machi walked the 1st batter he faced–loading the bases and giving me a sick feeling. He took the next batter–the pitcher–to a full count, but on ball 3, the hitter tossed the bat aside, began to take 1st, and I started screaming–until I realized the hitter jumped the gun. He came back to the plate, and Machi struck him out–looking. I wasn’t sure I could take much more. After 3, the score was:
GIANTS 1, Royals 4
The Royals had the GIANTS on the ropes after the 3rd inning, after losing Vogey so early, and things didn’t look good for the GIANTS.
Yusmeiro Petit entered the game in the 4th and pitched three scoreless innings for the GIANTS. The GIANTS went scoreless in the 4th–the bright spot was Petit got a hit in his at-bat–much to everyone’s pleasant surprise, maybe even his. In the 5th the GIANTS bats woke up and scored when Panik led-off with a double, Pence and Pablo each got base hits and Juan Perez hit a SAC fly. In the 6th, the GIANTS offense went back to work. Joaquin Arias pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot–he got a base hit and Blanco followed with another base hit. While Arias was at 2nd, the Royals’ catcher fired a rocket to 2nd base in a pick-off attempt. The 2nd baseman tagged Arias, but the umpire called him safe. The Royals challenged the call–and the call was confirmed–the replay showed Arias was clearly safe–the tag was applied too late. Joe Panik hit a SAC bunt advancing Arias and Blanco, Buster Posey was intentionally walked and the bases were loaded. Hunter Pence hit into a force out, and the Royals threw Arias out at home. Pablo hit a 2 RBI single, scoring Blanco and Posey. After 6, the score was:
GIANTS 7, Royals 4
In the 7th , the GIANTS offense got even better. They batted around the entire order, and scored more runs. Brandon Crawford led-off with a base hit, Michael Morse pinch hit in the pitchers spot and drew a walk, Gregor Blanco moved them over with a SAC bunt–Blanco reached 1st safely and Brandon Crawford trotted home when the Royals pitcher made a throwing error to 1st. Joe Panik hit a double–scoring Michael Morse and Gregor Blanco. Hunter Pence hit a double, scoring Panik. Defensively, the GIANTS made some great plays–highlight reel plays. In the top of the 6th, with a man on 1st, the Royals batter hit a grounder to Belt, who threw to Crawford at 2nd, Crawford tagged the bag, getting the runner out at 2nd, and fired a bullet back to Belt, getting the runner at 1st. A 3-6-3 double play–tough to turn successfully–but the Brandons were looking good out there and they did it! In the 7th: Juan Perez caught up with a fly ball, reached for it and went into a slide–keeping the ball in his glove; Pablo snagged a line-drive, mid-drive. In the 9th, Hunter Pence raced in on a fly and made an amazing slide catch–saving Strickland from adding another hit to his stats. The final score was:
GIANTS 11, Royals 4
The GIANTS were on fire, they were dialed in, they were locked and loaded. And they won that game–just like I asked–more like begged and pleaded. So–to all the talking heads I just have one thing to say: BOOYAH!!!