Remember when the Cleveland Browns of the 1980's pulled out last minute wins, forcing their fans to dub them the Cardiac Kids?
Well, last night I worked my third straight Giants game (just assigned, these were not consecutive) where the spunky World Champs pulled baseball rabbits out of hats.
The first was a couple of Sundays ago, when after Ian Kennedy shut down the San Franciscans for seven innings, they nabbed runs to push the game to the 10th, and then put it away for a win.
The following Wednesday, the Fish had the Giants pretty much under their thumb, 8-4, when with two outs, in the bottom of the ninth, San Francisco rallied with four runs, driving their adoring fans to the brink. Unfortunately, that game was lost in the 12th when Scott Cousins took out Buster Posey in a now infamous play at the plate. Although, the locals did cost Leo Nunez his first blown save of the year.
Then yesterday, after six innings of changing speeds and locations, John Lannan lost one to Cody Ross, who belted a tater that broke a shutout and changed the score to 4-1. Then in the eighth, the Giants did it again, with three more runs off a pretty much spent Nationals pen, again driving the game to extra frames.
This time, in the bottom of the 13th, Freddy Sanchez drove home a winner, and the Giants won for the ninth time with a walk off this year (eight times via hits, once from a sacrifice). It was a game that took four hours and 29 minutes, and got me in bed around 2 a.m., much to the chagrin of my dogs (I had told them since Tim Lincecum was starting, it should be a quick game).
I do have to say that working these games is intense, and they have all been terrific contests. But, this win yesterday, when the Giants used everyone on their roster that was not a starting pitcher except Ramon Ramirez, was impressive in that despite the loss of their star catcher, the Giants have rallied together as a team. A boost from new shortstop – who improves every day, and solidifies his chances to keep the job -- has helped, but the one thing that really helped them win in 2010 was indeed being a team.
These tight wins show the gang is still there, and still to be reckoned with, for again, the Giants pitching is good enough to keep them alive in the postseason. It’s getting there that is the challenge, but one every team also faces, along with injuries and slumps and the assortment of baseball travails a season brings.
Don't dismiss them.