SFist had high hopes for a series sweep for the Giants throughout last night's game against the Astros, but the bullpen had different ideas. Taking a three-to-two lead into the ninth inning, the San Francisco relievers did their best early-August impression by allowing five ugly runs, costing Jason Schmidt a well-deserved victory and chipping away at his fading Cy Young chances.

You have to wonder if the Giants let their emotions (or their testosterone) get the better of them last night, losing their focus on the task at hand and thereby snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The game was rife with dramatic incidents, not the least of which was the Astro's late comeback. The two teams had a benches-clearing conversation in the third inning after Barry Bonds dodged starter Brandon Backe's pitch at the knees for the second time in an at-bat. Later, during the Astro's big rally, closer Dustin Hermanson was ejected from the game, along with manager Felipe Alou, after plunking salty ex-Giant and truck washer extraordinaire Jeff Kent. With the loss, the Giants give the Cubs a half-game lead in the Wild Card race and the Dodgers a game-and-a-half edge in the division. What a difference a bad half-inning makes.

If you thought last night's game was tense, you don't know nothing. Tonight brings the Dodgers and general baseball mayhem to Third and King for the last home series of the year. The Giants have nine games left in the season, the Dodgers ten, and the two teams play six times in that short span. It's not unreasonable to think that the team that plays better in those match-ups will win the division. And to make matters even more interesting, the Dodgers' second best player, outfielder Shawn Green, one of ten Jews playing in the big leagues right now, will miss at least tonight's game and possibly tomorrow's in observance of Yom Kippur, a noble act he's undertaken once before, also to the benefit of the Giants. (Late breaking news: he's playing tonight and sitting tomorrow.) SFist applauds Green for setting a good example for the kids as well as giving the Giants a little bit of an edge when it really counts.

In related news, the Athletics lost again to the Rangers, getting swept out of Texas, and are doing their best to succumb in the AL West to teams once owned by George W. Bush and Gene Autry.

Good Yom Tuv and Go Giants!