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.
It was a standing-room-only crowd
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...
Miguel Tejada didn't make it to first base in time.
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.
Third base coach Tim Flannery gave him kudos and advice.
More rally rags.
Freddy Sanchez coming home brought the score to two zero.
To give you an idea how challenging it was to get these photos, here's the uncropped version of the same photo.
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.
Wilson's colorful personality inspires the fans to pay homage to his mohawk...
...and his new beard.
We watched his familiar form with anticipation.
Every fan stood up for the final outs
And then Wilson struck out the last batter.
Pandemonium broke out. The media rushed the field...
...security made sure the fans did not.
The Giants took a victory lap around the field.
Comcast was broadcasting live from Willie Mays Plaza
while fans celebrated sweet victory
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.
He will wear it proudly to school on Monday.