In the end, it was very obvious and we should have seen this coming. The Giants had a little momentum, a little spring in their step, and Clayton Kershaw looming. I allowed myself the daffy optimism of a daffy fan because the dream was too beautiful. Could you imagine the Giants beating Kershaw for a six-game winning streak?
I mean, just close your eyes and imagine that.
C’mon, just try it.
Look, I’ll go first.
And I should have known better. You cannot dream of an elevator to the stars if you’ve lived in a cave. And the Giants were not going to beat Kershaw twice. Not to extend a five-game winning streak. Not to sweep the Dodgers.
This doesn’t change the fact that the Giants had an excellent homestand, easily their best of the year. They’ve had exactly two unambiguously excellent homestands since the All-Star Break last year, and both of them involved satisfying series wins against the Dodgers. The Giants came home and played more good games than bad. Which is what normal teams do.
They avoided the sweep, of course, because that’s what the Giants do. It’s hard to sweep anyone, especially a team as talented as the Dodgers, but it’s clearly the least favorable of all the possible series-win scenarios.
The outcome is good, sure, but there’s more trudging involved before the next series. The suitcase is just a little heavier. There’s regret. There are what-ifs. What if Clayton Kershaw were three inches taller and could shoot a 3-pointer, for instance? Things like that.
The details of the game aren’t as important. Johnny …
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