What exactly just happened over the month of October? Had you told me in March that the Giants would win the National League pennant after fighting back in six elimination games, and that Barry Zito would be a crucial component of the playoff rotation, I would have thought you were high as hell. And you might have been. But here we are. Barry Zito's starting Game 1 of the World Series against Justin Verlander.
Though I haven't written anything about the playoffs. I'm sure it has something to do with going back to work at the university, and working on a book and an editing project that have nothing to do with baseball. But it also had to do with how exhausting watching the Giants win six elimination games. Including that time I was attending a conference talk, sweating Sergio Romo's twelve pitches to Jay Bruce. To tell the truth, it wasn't that nerve wracking to watch Ryan Vogelsong. In fact, I could watch those games with some obstinate idea that Vogelsong wouldn't accept not going to the World Series after his now-storied return to the Major Leagues. But, wow, the rest of the rotation has been a far cry from their shut down performances of 2010.
Yet the offense has been able to pick them up, at least until the Cardinals got shut down offensively in games five, six, and seven, when the offense picked up the pitching just on general principle--not to mention that the possibility of the the Cards coming back from a six run deficit would leave a very bitter taste.
Instead, the Giants are going to the World Series, and I've got to start mustering my baseball fury against the Detroit Tigers (even if I chose them for the World Series last year). May they under perform in the next four to seven games.
Before the fall classic begins, never forget:
For that grand slam, Buster Posey is the official NLDS Exceptional Comrade of The Left Field Line.
The NLCS Excellent Comrades (a shared prize!) are Marco Scutaro and Ryan Vogelsong. In 30 plate appearances, Scutaro hit .500/.533/.607, with fourteen hits, most of those coming after being run over by Matt Holliday.
Vogelsong destroyed the Cardinals with that fiery death stare. Oh, and he pitched 14 innings and gave up only eight hits, three walks, and two earned runs. If you throw in the hit batter, that's 12 baserunners, compared to 13 strikeouts.
If he wants to go Satchel Paige and pitch night after night while decimating the opposition, I'd say let him.