Monday, October 4, 2010

San Francisco Giants Clinch!


IMG_6702 Giants Clinch


I would have gotten to the ballpark on time if it was just any other game. I had trouble finding parking because this wasn't just any other game. This game against the San Diego Padres, would decide whether the San Francisco Giants would clinch the National League West Championship. 

From a block away, I heard what sounded like the roar of a home run. I fired up my MLB.com iPhone App to check. Nope, only hits so far.

When I entered the stadium, I was happy to still get one of the 40,000 orange rally rags.

IMG_6631 rally towels

IMG_6628 rally rags

It was a standing-room-only crowd

IMG_6621 standing room only SRO

We only needed to win one of the three games in this series against the Padres. We lost the first two, now we are down to the last game. In fact, it was game 162, the last game of the regular season.

Jonathan Sánchez pitched expertly...

IMG_6626  Jonathan Sánchez pitching Miguel Tejada at bat

Miguel Tejada didn't make it to first base in time.

IMG_6627 Tejada out at first

In the third inning, the Padres played Jonathan Sánchez short; he was the pitcher after all. The stadium lit up when  Sánchez smacked the ball over the heads of the outfielders into right field for a triple. At third base, a bat boy brought him his jacket.

IMG_6630 Jonathan Sánchez's triple

Third base coach Tim Flannery gave him kudos and advice.

IMG_6633 Tim Flannery and Jonathan Sánchez

More kudos from Aubrey Huff after he crossed home plate thanks to Freddy Sanchez's hit.

IMG_6634 Jonathan Sánchez coming home

More rally rags.

IMG_6635 Rally rags

Freddy Sanchez coming home brought the score to two zero.

IMG_6637 Freddy Sanches coming home

To give you an idea how challenging it was to get these photos, here's the uncropped version of the same photo.

IMG_6637 Freddy Sanches coming home uncropped

I also have a bevy of photos of orange rally rags obstructing my lens. But I digress.

With the Padres, a two-point lead is no reason to feel comfortable, even in the eighth inning. The Giants fans were still cautiously optimistic. But then Buster Posey hit a home run at the bottom of the eighth and the crowd went crazy. It would be very difficult for the Padres to catch up from a zero-three deficit. This home run should  be the icing on the cake for the "Rookie of the Year Award" for Buster Posey.

Now all we have to do is protect this lead. Closer Brian Wilson is in the bull pen warming up.

IMG_6676 Brian Wilson warming up

Wilson's colorful personality inspires the fans to pay homage to his mohawk...

IMG_6651 giants mohawk hat

...and his new beard.

IMG_6679 Fear the Beard cropped

We watched his familiar form with anticipation.

IMG_6685 Brian Wilson

IMG_6686 Brian Wilson

IMG_6687 Brian Wilson


Every fan stood up for the final outs

IMG_6693 Rally Rag madness

And then Wilson struck out the last batter.

IMG_6717 strike-outs

Pandemonium broke out. The media rushed the field...

IMG_6705 post-win media rush

...security made sure the fans did not.

IMG_6707 post-win security

The Giants took a victory lap around the field.

IMG_6718 Victory lap

Comcast was broadcasting live from Willie Mays Plaza

IMG_6737 Comcast van

IMG_6732 Comcast Broadcast

while fans celebrated sweet victory

IMG_6735 Giants Clinch

IMG_6738 Giants Clinch

My son insisted on standing in line for thirty minutes in order to buy the grey championship t-shirt, just like the Giants wore for their victory lap.

IMG_6736 lining up for championship shirts

He will wear it proudly to school on Monday.
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