I knew better than to ask the baseball gods for another win. Asking–read begging and pleading–for the win Saturday night was a little presumptuous–somewhat impudent, bordering on impertinent, as a matter of fact, almost insolent. In other words, I had no chits left to cash. I hoped, really, really hoped that the GIANTS would win Game 5. Somebody up there must like me. Or maybe–probably–somebody up there really likes the GIANTS. That’s more than likely the case–MLB Jesus is a big GIANTS fan. I know what you’re thinking–who the heck is MLB Jesus??Or maybe you’re already familiar. For those who don’t know him–he’s a fixture on Twitter. He usually tweets during baseball games making comments like: “Time to stare into the deep dark hole that is Joe Buck’s soul” or “Blessed be the righteous @KNBR and all Franciscans keeping the faith” and “Blessed be Gregor Blanco for he steals without sin.” If you have a Twitter account, follow him–if you don’t have Twitter account, get one, then follow him.
Back to Game 5–it was a great game. The GIANTS had Madison Bumgarner leading the charge and his pitching was splendiferous, there’s a word for you–it means splendid, magnificent, fine–and to be totally honest, he was über splendiferous. He pitched 9–count ’em–9 shut out innings, with NO walks. In a World Series game! It’s a testament to Bochy’s faith in our Ace. The GIANTS defense was dialed in, and between Bumgarner’s pitching and the GIANTS defense, Kansas City didn’t have a prayer. As MLBJesus put it: “All Royalty need seek shelter, for the MadBum cometh.” Bumgarner gave up 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and he struck out 8.
The GIANTS offense was dialed in. They manufactured a run in the 2nd–Hunter Pence hit a grounder up left center that just skated past the shortstop’s glove, Brandon Belt bunted him over and beat the throw to 1st, Travis Ishikawa hit a SAC fly–both runners tagged up and advanced. Brandon Crawford brought Pence home on an RBI groundout. Pablo led-off the 4th with a base hit and advanced to 2nd on Ishikawa’s single. Crawford hit a shallow fly to the center fielder–who couldn’t come up with the ball–and Pablo scored. Pablo led-off the 8th with a single, Hunter Pence followed with another single. The Royals changed pitchers, bringing in one of their “unhittable” pitchers–apparently this guy rarely gives up a hit, let’s not even think about a homerun. Then Juan Perez stepped up to the plate–quiet, unassuming, “Mystery Man” Juan Perez, whose job is to ride the pine until someone needs to be replaced in the outfield, or when they need a pinch-runner, like last night, he stayed in–and crushed a fly ball all the way out to the center field wall. It hit off the top of the wall, but stayed in the park. He was this close–picture me holding my thumb and pointer finger about an inch or two apart–to a homerun. The Royals manager looked so shocked, I thought they might have to revive him. Anyway, while all that was going on, Pablo raced home–with Hunter on his heels–literally, I thought Hunter was going to run over the Panda. Perez spied a throwing error by the Royals shortstop and quickly took 3rd. Crawford was up next–we’re going to crown him RBI King–and hit a single that scored Perez. That gave Brandon Crawford his 3rd RBI of the night. Perez got the other two. The final score was:
GIANTS 5, Royals 0
The GIANTS defense was absolutely amazing. They so made many incredible plays–too numerous to name, but here’s a few: starting in the 1st with the 2nd hitter–Panik caught the ball in a slide, he stopped, did a little spin and threw the runner out at 1st–all while he was on his knees–on his knees! Blanco raced in on a fly ball hit to shallow center in the 3rd inning, and caught it. In the 4th, the ball was hit toward 3rd, took a strange hop, but Pablo stayed with it somehow and threw to 1st in time to get the runner out. The next amazing play was my favorite–also in the 4th, the ball was hit to right field, between 1st and 2nd, Belt was there and snagged it, but needed to get to 1st before the runner–and he did–by going into a slide, reaching the base with his feet before the runner crossed the bag. Out! In the 6th, the Royals hitter popped the ball up, way up, above home plate and Posey caught it at the screen.
It was a special night. The Panda people were there, en masse, Steve Perry got the crowd stirred up with the Journey classic “Lights” his iconic homage to his San Francisco home, and Billy Crystal welcomed the crowd by showing a scoreboard video replay of Robin Williams welcoming the crowd to the 2010 World Series. Crystal also caught the ceremonial 1st pitch thrown by Robin Williams’ kids.
It was a bittersweet night for Juan Perez. He found out during the game–as did the rest of the world watching the game–that his good friend, Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic earlier in the day. He was devastated. He did his best, though, to focus on the game–he was called in to pinch-run for Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the 6th and stayed in the game. When he came to bat in the 8th and hit that double–he dedicated it to his friend. Oscar Taveras played for the St. Louis Cardinals and he was considered one of their top prospects. He was called up earlier this year, and hit a homerun in his major league debut, off GIANTS pitcher Yusmeiro Petit. Bochy gave a statement saying Taveras was a special talent who was looking forward to a great career.
The GIANTS are going back to Kansas City. Kansas City here we come! Remember–together we’re GIANT–so let’s send the GIANTS all the positive vibes we can. It’s our year!