It was a win for the ages for the San Francisco Giants, but more importantly, for Travis Ishikawa. Early on in the game, Ishikawa had misjudged a ball in the outfield, committing a fielding blunder that resulted in the Cardinals first run of the game. Ishikawa would surely atone for that mistake later, but before that, it was the Giants bats breaking out of its powerless slumber that kept the orange and black alive in this game and eventually propelled them to their third World Series appearance in five years.
First, it was the rookie Joe Panik. In the third inning, Panik was able to rock a two-run shot off of Adam Wainwright to put the Giants up 2-1. However, that was all she wrote when it came to scoring off of Wainwright. After that, Wainwright continued to settle in and pitched until the bottom of the eighth… that is where the game turned around. After Wainwright was relieved by Pat Neshek, Head Coach Bruce Bochy decided to pinch-hit a player that did not even make the NLDS roster due to an injury, Michael Morse. With one swing of the bat, Morse tied the game up at three-a-piece. In the bottom of the ninth, Cardinals Head Coach decided to go with right-hander, Michael Wacha. After giving up a lead-off single to Pablo Sandoval, Wacha walked Brandon Belt with one out. With two men on and one out, Wacha would face that very same man that gave up the first run of the ballgame, Travis Ishikawa. Only this time, it was Ishikawa who had the last laugh. After getting ahead of the count 2-0, Ishikawa smashed a fastball to right-field and was able to win the game, and the series, in dramatic fashion.
After this huge win, the San Francisco Giants find themselves quickly having to prepare for a head-to-head matchup versus the hottest team in the league right now: the Kansas City Royals. This series is sure to be chock full of headlines, but none more important or as significant as this one: the San Francisco Giants dynasty versus the Kansas City Royals destiny.
On one hand, there is the dynasty. A dynasty can be defined in a multitude of ways, but most are defined as winning a lot of championships in a short span of time. The Giants are looking to become the first team to win three World Series Championships in a five-year span since the 1996-2000 New York Yankees (who won four in five years). However, if San Fran was to win it all this year, they would be a most peculiar dynasty given that they would also be the first team in MLB history to win three championships in five seasons all while missing the playoffs entirely in the two seasons in between. Which leads fans to believe that, in recent times, if the Giants make it to the postseason, expect them to not only reach the Fall Classic, but to win the Fall Classic in a way that only a Bruce Bochy-led team could.
On the other hand, there is destiny. Destiny can be defined as exactly what the Kansas City Royals are doing. For example, this is the Royals first postseason appearance since 1985 (when they won the World Series), which was also the longest championship appearance drought in all four major sports by a total of eight seasons; they spent one whole day in first place this season and had to stay competitive until Game 162 in order to secure a playoff spot; they opened up this years postseason with not one, not two, but three wins in extra innings; they have an astonishing six wins by their bullpen and only two by starters this postseason; they are the first team since 1969 to win its first eight games of the postseason; and they are also the first AL team since the 1969 White Sox to make the World Series after ranking dead last in the league in homeruns hit during regular season. To simply put, it doesn’t get much more destiny than that.
With the San Francisco Giants winning tonight, the headline should read: dynasty vs destiny. But which of the two is to win the whole thing? Well, if there was one way to stop destiny dead in its tracks, it would be a dynasty. However, the same could also be said the other way. Regardless, if the Giants win tonight, it should set up for one heck of a World Series matchup with the boys in blue chalk full of headlines that should keep even the weary of baseball fans interested.
Commentary by Ryne Vyles