But what do you know? Those Giants won Game 6, 6-1, behind Ryan Vogelsong on October 21st. And that meant I had tickets to the tie-breaking game of the series...the game to decide who would go on to the 2012 World Series. Holy cow.
And so it came to pass that I picked up one very happy little boy half an hour early from school on Monday...and we drove to the train station, where we caught the train to AT&T Park.
When the series was in St. Louis, it had rained. There was a 3.5 hour rain delay in the middle of Game 4 (I think). I was envisioning a real nightmare...a stadium packed with people trying to get out of the rain, sitting there for hours with my bored 10-year-old. What was I thinking?
Fortunately, my imagination was wrong. It was a beautiful day at the ballpark. We arrived just after the rain stopped. There were boats in McCovey Cove, puffy clouds, sunshine, a floating Delorean. (A what?)
And with his team winning, Smunch was having a blast.
To the giant roar of the soggy crowd, Sergio Romo jogged from the bullpen to the mound and induced a pop fly from Matt Holliday, which was caught by the game's hero, Marco Scutaro. And poetic justice was served. Just days earlier Matt Holiday mowed Scutaro down as he "slid" into second base and Scutaro had to leave the game with an injury to his hip. Now the mostly-healed Scutaro squinted through the heavy rain to make the last out and send his team to the World Series.
Like most of the crowd, Smunch and I did not leave. We stood in the pouring rain as the team celebrated on the field below. The National League trophy was presented and Marco Scutaro was named MVP of the NLCS.
Then we hightailed it toward the train, where a crowd of wet people awaited a happy trip home. We won't be in attendance at the World Series this year, but you can bet we'll be there every step of the way.
Barry Zito is slated to start Game 1...
Epilogue: Less than one week after Smunch and I attended Game 7 of the NLCS, the San Francisco Giants won the 2012 World Series by sweeping the Detroit Tigers. Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 and Barry Zito got the win. Game 4 was the most exciting by far, going 10 innings. And guess who drove in the winning run...Marco Scutaro.