Let’s face it. How many of us really believed the Giants were going to make it to the 2016 Playoffs? You’d have to be the eternal optimist to even suspect there might be a chance after the disastrous play the last half of the season. I mean, really, the team went 0 for 60 in games where they were behind in the 8th inning. That must be an all-time record. Sure, there were some bright spots and there’s always hope in baseball, but really?
We know how to win. And this was our time, being an even year and all. The year started out with a bang and we had the rest of the baseball world believing it too, with our best record in major league baseball at the All Star Break. So when the bottom fell out in the 5th game of the NLDS we were in shock and disbelief and we were angry. My anger was directed toward our dear quiet, unassuming Manager, Bruce Bochy. The team played their hearts out that last game. Matt Moore’s pitching was incredible throughout, but was pulled at the top of the 9th to make way for our not so incredible bullpen, at which time I left the room and started cleaning up the kitchen. I knew it was over. We all knew it was over. What was he thinking?
In retrospect, in my heart I don’t think the 3 time World Champion San Francisco Giants really deserved to be there. And I don’t think they thought so either. Okay. I said it. But that’s how I felt. When you compare it to the Chicago Cubs season, the Cubs belonged there. They deserved to win. And they did win, fair and square. Did Moore have another 10-12 pitches left in him? Probably. But we’ll never know and it doesn’t really matter. It pains me to say it, but the best team DID win and good for them.
I love my Giants. Always have. Always will. Ann Killion wrote this in her SF Chronicle post today: “Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard said on social media: ‘Baseball has a way of ripping your heart out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest and then healing itself just in time for spring training.”
My point is this. The Giants had a real weakness in the bullpen this year. It was apparent in 60 of 60 games. It won’t happen again. They have an amazing staff that will build on this and they’ll be back. Not all of them, of course, but enough that another world champion team will emerge again.
And when it does, and if we lose then, we’ll really know the true agony of defeat. Because in this defeat, we should have felt honored just to be sitting at the table. Personally, I can hardly wait for the NLCS to begin tomorrow with the Chicago Cubs against ….. wait for it …….a worthy opponent, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
My bet is on the Chicago Cubs who have the best record in Major League Baseball this year. But like Syndergaaard said ……baseball has a way of ripping your heart out ……..
Good luck to the Cubs and Dodgers. It’s gonna be a great series!