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A Look Back: Top Seven Postseason Matchups

November 20, 2012

It’s gray. It’s raining. There’s no baseball in our future, unless you squint really hard, and the Giants-related hot stove is pretty damn cold. All we have are memories. Well, I don’t; I drank the rememberin’ outta my brain years ago. Fortunately I have a DVR, which is even better.

So what say we pop some glory leftovers in the microwave and rehash the top seven matchups of the 2012 playoffs, in very particular order. (Links go to video if for some weird reason you want to experience the actual moments instead of my half-baked ruminations.)

7. Romo vs. Rolen The Giants played six elimination games this postseason, yet somehow the old “torture” label didn’t apply — except game five against the Reds. That was Geneva Conventions-grade shit. The Giants had a six-run lead. Posey vanquished Latos (more on that in a moment). It was all over except the shouting — and by “shouting” I mean five innings of pure, unadulterated, sweat-drenched hell, capped off with Scott Rolen, representing the winning run, stepping to the plate against a clearly gassed Sergio Romo. The last pitch of the at-bat was a hanging slider, the kind that occasionally makes Romo look like a middle-school assistant coach with a bum shoulder throwing batting practice. Rolen missed it.

Then this happened.

6. Arias vs. Broxton For a while, if you believed the trade rumors, it looked like Jonathan Broxton might become a Giant. Instead he became a Red, and found himself pitching in the tenth inning of game three. One passed ball, one Rolen boot and one scampering Arias later, the Giants had a lead and new life. So thanks, Jonathan. Super glad you pitched in the NLDS in a not-for-us capacity.

5. Timmy vs. Timmy  Whatever your pet theory about Lincecum’s regular season struggles — mechanics, injury, too much weed, not enough weed, the meanderings of Mercury — it was clear he was often his own worst enemy. Like that scene in Superman III where Chris Reeves as Superman kicks Chris Reeves as Clark Kent’s ass all over the junkyard, only with slightly less boiling acid. So when Timmy emerged from his cocoon of wonkiness a fully-formed bullpen butterfly it was more than a relief — it was a revelation.

4. Romo vs. Cabrera If Romo vs. Rolen was a cocktail of luck and moxie, Romo vs. Cabrera was a straight shot of dominance. No Tiger put a ball in play in the ninth inning of game four, including the vaunted triple crown winner.

Then this happened.

3. Scutaro vs. Holliday I’ve forgiven Holliday, and not just because Scutaro didn’t get hurt and the Giants wound up winning the World Series. Well, OK, that’s totally why…but also it wasn’t as dirty of a slide as my adrenaline-and-alcohol-soaked brain thought at the time. Doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of Scutaro getting up, dusting himself off and ultimately doing a credible Andy Dufrense.

Marco Scutaro, who climbed through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.

2. Posey vs. Latos Mat Latos is objectively evil. Buster Posey is objectively good. These are the facts, and they are undisputed. So Buster’s blast wasn’t merely a grand slam to salt an improbable comeback and a trip to the NLCS; it was a blow against the forces of darkness, a shining light, a message to the masses: there is hope…lo, there is hope. Better move on before I devolve into hyperbole.

1. Zito vs. Logic Barry Zito pitching un-badly is not, by itself, an according-to-Hoyle miracle; dude threw a shutout at Coors this season. But doing it with everything on the line, against a team that mashed lefties? I had doubts, by which I mean I was curled up under the table sucking my thumb during the pregame introductions. Zito will never “earn” the $126 million in a conventional sense. That game, though, including the greatest RBI bunt hit in the history of RBI bunt hits, went a long way toward neutralizing the mediocrity. We still have another year (at least) together, Zito and us. Plenty of time for Zeets to Zeet up the joint. But we’ll always have St. Louis. Lord, will we always have St. Louis. 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 1:52 pm

    Got to #2 and laughed so hard I spit up the contents of my mouth…Keep ’em comin’ Shafer!!

  2. Ryan permalink
    November 20, 2012 4:05 pm

    I watched game one my last night in the bathtub. I had the DT’s.

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