The difference between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics today is this:
The Giants had their souls crushed. The As merely had their hearts broken. And having broken so many, the As enter Tuesdays first fly-or-cry game in this American League Division Series with Detroit with their usual world view.
Why the hell not?
I guess whoever made the season 162 games was a fan of the Oakland As, team veteranphilosopher Jonny Gomes said Monday. Whoever made the playoff format is a fan of the Oakland As. And we dont want to be down 0-2, but whoever put us here with these fans is a fan of the As.
And then he brought out the slogan for the rest of their stay in the postseason:
Were definitely pressure tested.
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So there you have it. The As are a set of tires, and theyre going to have to drive like there are no more pit stops.
The As do have the memories of their last difficult road trip of the regular season, and the sweeps of Seattle and Texas that allowed them to be here now, processing the agonies of Games 1 and 2 in Detroit and turning them into one more festival of reaper-cheating in season full of them.
Even the mini-controversy of Al Alburquerque has run its course. The Detroit reliever who kissed the baseball when he fielded Yoenis Cespedes game-ending comebacker is already one more story for the offseason.
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I wouldnt do it myself, reliever Grant Balfour said Monday, but I dont know. Maybe he just has a baseball. Who knows?
Indeed, who knows. Even Brett Anderson, the Game 3 starter who is coming off the in-the-shop list to do so, may be part of the scheduled kismet.
You almost wonder if it isnt set up to go this way, Balfour said of Andersons first start since September 19, when he lost . . . wait for it . . . at Detroit. Maybe hes supposed to be the one to save us. Ive thought some crazy things, and were here now, so it wouldnt surprise me in any way.
Andersons six starts this year after missing the first 121 games have shown both his great promise and the worrisome side of his career. Having missed so much time, and having thrown no more than 108 pitches in any start this year, he is likely to be on a bit of a governor from manager Bob Melvin, and the likeliest guess would be anywhere between 85 pitches and We just need this one more out.
Thats the beauty of being one game away from golf it blows up the best-laid plans of mice and men. See Cueto, Johnny, for further evidence.
Hey, Gomes said with a smile of purest Wittgenstein, at least we dont have to go on the road down 0-2.
Now take a wild guess as to whom he might be referring to there. Even if he didnt mean to, he was talking about the team with the freshly crushed souls. The team that isn't like a set of tires. Pick your reference point.