Such is the masochistic pleasure of being a Giants fan. The only thing we enjoy doing more is pouring liquid rooter on ourselves or watching old reruns of “How I Met Your Mother.”

I love me some pain.  

The way the Giants played last night wasn’t uncharacteristic of what we’ve seen throughout much of this season—rally killing double plays, questionable pitching decisions, and shaky defense by Pablo Sandoval over at third base. Pablo might want to consider changing his nickname from the Kung Fu Panda to “Bone” from Kung Fu Hustle.   

The best part about Game 2’s late inning collapse is that there isn’t just one guy you can throw under the bus. Even Buster Posey gets some of the blame for Friday night’s loss.

Everything seemed to be going right in the tenth inning when the Braves replaced their dominant closer Billy Wagner with the extremely permeable and ineffective Kyle Farnsworth. Edgar Renteria had finally stopped trying to win the game with one swing and laid down a perfect bunt single. Torres sacrificed him over to second and the 75-year-old Wagner injured himself throwing Andre out at first.

Bobby Cox (yes you heard me correctly, Cox was watching the game and making the calls from the locker room using his IPOD touch) signals for Farnsworth, and I’m thinking the Giants don’t even need a hit to win this one. The Braves would have been better off asking Rick Ankiel to try and be a pitcher again for one inning (more on Ankiel later). So Farnsworth comes in and starts out by hitting Freddy Sanchez and walking Aubrey Huff to load the bases.

Posey’s up and the crowd can smell the win. All Buster had to do was stand in the batter’s box and wait for Farnsworth to throw one past McCann so Renteria could score from third. Instead he comes swinging out of his shoes and grounds into the Giants’ 162nd double play of the year. 

The failed opportunity appeared to carry over into the next inning when Ankiel homered into the Bay off Ramon Ramirez. There might be one or two guys in the Braves lineup that can beat you (actually just one, Troy Glaus when he used to be good) but Rick Ankiel? I know that Mike Krukow likes him but really, that’s no reason to surrender a home run on what should be a guaranteed out..

It was a bad night for everyone all around. After Pat Burrell’s big home run in the first, the Giants couldn’t get anything done offensively.

Aubrey Huff went 0 for 4 and struck out three times. The top three hitters in the lineup are now 3-for-23 in the series (good for a .130 BA.)  Burrell misplayed a routine single in the sixth allowing Derek Lee to move into scoring position. Lee would go on to score later in the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Giants had runners on the corners with only one out and failed to score what would have been a huge insurance run. Don’t forget last night when Posey tripled to lead off the sixth inning and was left standing on third. The Giants have now stranded 26 base runners through the first two games of the series.

But the thing that will stand out the most in everyone’s mind was Bruce Bochy’s decision to bring Brian Wilson into the eighth inning with two out and nobody on. Yes, Wilson’s an effective multi inning closure (8 for 10 during the regular season), but there’s a reason why you have seven guys in the bullpen. If there’s trouble, then there’s more than one of them who can clean up the mess. 


The time to bring Wilson in the game was still one or two outs away. We can only hope Bochy’s Dusty Baker impersonation won’t continue on into the weekend.  

The Giants now find themselves facing the same situation as the Barry Bonds led teams faced in the 2000 and 2003 NLDS—win on the road or go home. They failed to do it in either one of those years.

What‘s the difference? The clubs they were playing against were better than they were. The Braves may have had the best home-record in the regular season, but they’re not a very good baseball team. Instead they’re a scrappy bunch of overachievers trying to win a World Series for their manager before he walks off into the sunset. That’s not going to happen, but we would rather see Bobby say his final goodbye at AT&T Park rather than Citizen’s Bank.  

If you’ve watched the Giants for the last half century, you’ll know by now that nothing ever comes easy. When they were leading 4-1 going into the eighth, I was confident, but I never thought it was a guaranteed win. Maybe if you were a Yankees fan and Mariano Rivera was on the mound, but we’re Giants fans. This is how they win series. Deal with it.

Tomorrow should be fun. We’ll be near cardiac arrest no matter what the score is. And really what’s wrong with that? We’ve spent the last two postseasons rooting for the Phillies when they were playing against the Dodgers in the NLCS. And though we enjoyed the outcome, this year we’ll have a chance to root against Philadelphia if the Giants make it that far.  

Two wins isn’t easy. But the Giants can do it. In the meantime, sit back on the couch and enjoy the throbbing headaches, the clammy hands, and the wobbly legs. This is what baseball in San Francisco is all about.  

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