| It's Game Seven, pre-game. The astute Kevin Kennedy just said, "Livan Hernandez can't pitch the way he did in game three if the Giants are going to win." Livan gave up five runs in three innings that night, so no, he probably shouldn't do that again. Feels like the prelude to a long, bad broadcast.
A week ago this matchup seemed like the all-time who-gives-a-shit Series, but it's turned into the best World Series since...well, since last year. Anyway, it's good, and we're jacked for the finale.
First inning. Tight shots of Tim McCarver make us feel sad and very old. Something about that Crayola-brown hair dye.
The Giants take a 1-0 lead in the second when 90-year-old Benito Santiago scores on a sacrifice fly hit by 91-year-old Reggie Sanders. Doesn't matter, because they're losing tonight. No way to comeback from yesterday's cruelty. We're flashing back to 1986, Game Seven, our beloved Red Sox ahead 3-0. The end of all goodness in the world. We knew that loss was looming in exactly the sick, gnawing way that the Giants face a painful loss tonight. Thankfully, it's only happening to San Francisco.
Second inning, and McCarver just said that Angel catcher Bengie Molina wanted to be in Puerto Rico today for "his father's induction into the amateur hall of fame." He says nothing else, just the "amateur hall of fame." He's an amateur puppeteer? Porn director? We don't know, and McCarver won't say. Tim has been leaving these strange half-facts unfinished all Series. Joe Buck steps in to clarify---it's amateur baseball, the elder Molina was a second baseman. Bengie lines a double to left-center, scoring Scott Spiezio from first. 1-1.
Third inning. Livan looks gassy and uncomfortable. After consecutive line-drive singles, he plunks Tim Salmon. Bases loaded and a scared Livan Hernandez is lobbing tired, lifeless, not-quite-breaking balls at Garrett Anderson. No Eric Gregg to call every pitch a strike tonight, Livan. Gracias y adios. Anderson whacks a double into the right-field corner, and an Angel fan clubs Reggie Sanders with an inflatable thunderstick. Eckstein scores, Erstad scores, Salmon scores. Somewhere, Doug DeCinces, Bob Gritch and Rob Wilfong are scoring. 4-1, Angels. The HoleCity softball team could hit Hernandez right now, and Dusty Baker pulls him. The ease with which Baker lifts a pitcher in the third tells you he'll make a fine Cub manager next season.
Fox has Angel pitching coach Bud Black wired up, and they keep breaking away for Sounds Of The Game spots in which Black says monumentally uninteresting things. He tells pitcher John Lackey that he's throwing, "Outstanding. Just outstanding." They nod their heads, then sit down. Withering insight.
Kirk Reuter entered the game for the Giants in the fourth, and he's been brilliant. Physically, he looks like the guy who should've been the D.C. sniper, though. Reuter sets down the heart of the Angel order in the seventh, and it's Aurilia-Kent-Bonds due up for San Fran in the eighth. They'll face Francisco Rodriguez, who's closer in age to the kids roaming the Giant dugout---The Dusty Baker Home For Troubled Boys---than he is to the actual Giant players.
Here's your Series in an inning:
Aurilia, K. Kent, K. Bonds, BB. Santiago, K.
Troy Percival enters the game for the Angels in the ninth and allows a single, a force-out, and a walk. Pinch hitter Tsuyoshi Shinjo steps to the plate as the potential tying run in the seventh game of the World Series, yet the moment lacks drama until McCarver announces that Shinjo is, "the first Japanese position player to appear in the World Series."
Then Shinjo becomes the first Japanese position player to strike out in the World Series. Kenny Lofton flies out to center, and the inevitable Giant loss arrives. A sullen Barry Bonds storms past a group of inconsolable dugout children. Cheer up, kids. It only hurts this bad the first time
Big Foam Finger