Tuesday, as the ball settled into Andres Torres' glove for the second out in what proved to be Brian Wilson's five-out save, The Thought slipped into my mind. I drove it away.
"Down, evil thought. Get thee behind me."
Wednesday Pat Burrell lifted a three-run blast into the left field bleachers, and The Thought was back. As Timmy Franchise continued to mow down hitters It got stronger and stronger. I tried to force It down, kind like knowing you're gonna hurl on the roller coaster but you can't 'cause the gute girl in the tube top is watching.
Then, despite another nail-biting ninth innning, it was done. The Magic Number slipped to "3" and The Thought was alive and well.
The Thought: "Holy $#@! ... They're gonna win this thing."
I should know better. The Giants have done absolutely nothing but break my heart ever since I first became a fan 40 seasons ago. But with the Giants holding a two-game lead with five to play, all they really gotta do is hold serve to reach the postseason for the first time since 2003.
I don't want to jinx it. I've seen things I thought were in the bag disappear into vapor (Game Six? Anybody?). But these guys finally have me daring to dream.
Let's face it, the National League isn't what it used to be. I once joked that the AL was that league between Triple A and the Majors, but the truth is it's the superior group right now. Most teams have an ace, and even the Royals and Blue Jays can hit. The AL East is more stacked that your local Hooters, while the Twins and Rangers are solid contenders. The NL has the Phillies and...the Phillies.
But for now, the goal for the Giants is to find a way to win a flawed division and then take their chances in the postseason crap shoot.
Kudos to Timmy for settling down after a shaky first inning. We always hope Jonathan Sanchez will perform like Lincecum, but it's a bit scary when Lincecum is acting like Sanchez. Fortunately the D-backs only struck for one tally before Lincecum righted the ship, making Burrell's long ball stand up.
I wrote previously that if the Giants could just stake their pitchers to 3-4 runs a game, they'd be successful. So far, so good.
Now, finish it.