Two Up, Four To Go

, September 29

Earl Weaver would have loved Wednesday night’s Giants game. A three-run homer backing good pitching. It worked for him, and it definitely worked for Bruce Bochy.

Karl Wallenda would have also loved Wednesday night’s Giants game. But unlike the dearly departed Wallenda, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson did not fall off the high-wire. As a result, the Giants are two games up on the Padres with four games to play.

Thomas Edison would have also loved Wednesday night’s Giants game. There was enough electricity to power 100 Al Gore mansions, global warming be damned. Expect even more juice at the ballpark Thursday, and these days the juice doesn’t come from a needle.

Pat Burrell supplied all the power the Giants needed, a crackling three-run thunderbolt in the 4th inning, about his 90th clutch hit since May. Lincecum took that and ran with it after a shaky start. Bochy disclosed after the game that Lincecum was feeling sick earlier in the day, and he gave up the first leadoff home run of his career, a frozen rope to right by Stephen Drew.

Lincecum pitched in and out of trouble for most of his seven innings, but thanks to an improved slider, he always escaped. He struck out eleven for his fifth win of September. Did anyone think this was going to happen in August ?

Lincecum has clearly enjoyed the extra days off in September, but Bochy moved him up to pitch Wednesday. I wasn’t crazy about the move, but the gamble paid off. Now, with Madison Bumgarner going tomorrow, the Giants will have Matt Cain on the mound for a possible division-clincher Friday.

Brian Wilson made sure Giants fans didn’t leave the park without one more episode of arrythmia. Like Lincecum, he also walked the high-wire, understandable after a five-out save the night before. Like Lincecum, he had an answer as well — he fanned the powerful Kelly Johnson, the potential tying run in the 9th.

Wilson continues to sport a beard as dark as deep space. My wife, who isn’t afraid to tell me Wilson is easy on the eyes, is even recoiling now. Imagine what batters are thinking. The beard will stay — the only close shave he’ll have is on the mound, and Wednesday was close to the jugular.

My wife wondered if the beard is affecting his love life, then realized the folly of her logic. Wilson could walk around with a parrot stapled to his ass and he’d still be a chick-magnet right now. He’s a closer, alright.

I spent much of the game talking with great Marty Lurie about the top Giants stories this year, the Willie Mac Award recipient, and the possible playoff rotation. That’s why Marty can go seven hours on the air: he gives you the story, and advances the story. Me, I’m only thinking about Thursday. Three is a magic number.


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