When you were a kid, you dreamt of Game 7 of the World Series. You acted it out in the backyard in your little league uniform and the glove that Mama bought you from Big 5. You imagined the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, two outs, and you either hit it out of the park, or you caught it as it went over the wall, or you struck that batter out. We all dreamt of Game 7 when we were kids. And you know what? Kids are stupid.
I was, you were, we all were. It wasn't our fault. We were six years old. We were still learning to color within the lines. Some of us became really smart, most of us became whatever it is that we are, and the rest, well, the rest still think of Game 7 like it's a romantic dream. No. It's a nightmare. That feeling you had last night in the 2nd inning? That was the dread of knowing that Game 7 was coming.
Last night's game went for 3 hours and 21 minutes. The bottom of the 2nd accounted for about two and a half hours of that. It just refused to end. Could Brandon have fielded that ground ball down the first base line? Maybe. Probably not though. Those balls tend to get through. Fair enough. 1-0, Royals. But what about that ground ball that he did get to two batters later? You know the one. The one where he gloved the ball, looked to home, stared the runner back to third-base, stared him back again, and then got lost on his way to first. And then he fell on his butt. Bases loaded. Ok, fine, we all thought. A clean ground ball gets us out of the inning, we all thought. Then a single scored a run. Then another single brought in two more runs. Then a wild pitch. Then a double. Then another double. 7-0, Royals. The rest of the game didn't matter. But, just for the record, Hunter Strickland gave up another home run.
No one wanted to say it out loud before last night's game because jinxes and all of that. But last night happened, so let's just get it out there right now. The Giants have been here before. It was 12 years ago, in 2002. Yes, we're going to talk about 2002.
They were still called the Anaheim Angels then, and just like these Royals, those Angels were the AL wildcard team. And just like these Giants, that 2002 Giants team was the NL wildcard. As it was this year, the Giants went on the road for the first two games, came home for the next three, and went back on the road for Games 6 and 7. The Giants won the first game, lost the next two, won the two after that, and headed back on the road with a 3-2 series advantage. Yes, just like this year.
And then Game 6 happened.
At the bottom of the 7th, the Giants were up, 5-0. Five to nothing! Giants pitcher Russ Ortiz got the first out. Then the next two Angels singled. Dusty Baker came out to the mound to pull Ortiz from the game. But before Ortiz stepped off, Dusty gave him the game ball. "Good job, kid," Dusty was effectively saying, "Here's your piece of history. You've earned it." And that was that.
The next hit was a three-run home run. Then they scored another three runs in the eighth. 6-5, Angels. Game. The Giants were eight outs away from winning the World Series. As it turned out, it was eight years.
The Angels won that World Series in Game 7. The Giants lost it in Game 6. We have been here before.
And so what?
It is time to do to the 2002 World Series what you do to a bedbug infested mattress. Kill it with fire. Put it out on the corner of 22nd and Capp. Be amazed at how quickly it disappears. Where we once were is not where we will be. We'll save comparisons to 2002 for when, if, the Giants ever see the Angels again in some other World Series. Until then, we have this one to win. This one right here, against this annoyingly good, extremely talented, and very likable Kansas City Royals team. Let's sing their praises tomorrow. Let's destroy them tonight. Let's make Game 7 their nightmare. And let's rally around Tim Hudson as he leads the charge.
Tim Hudson. Oh dear God.
You want to see Madison start tonight. Admit it! You want to see Madison wrest the ball from Huddy's 39-year old hand and take the mound and pitch his way into a new book of the Bible. You're a good baseball fan and you know it will never happen, but you need it to happen. Last night, at about the 2-hour mark of the bottom of the 2nd, you laid out the case for it to whoever would listen. It's not that you dislike Huddy, but you want to dance with the one that brung you. Dance with us, Madison!
No! That's panic talking. Tim's our man. He'll see us through. We believe in Tim Lincecum. Er, Hudson. Tim Hudson.
Oh dear God.
Let's go Giants!!!!!!!!!!!