Pregame. Introduce entire lineups for Giants and Cardinals including trainers. Hoist that World Series pennant up the pole. Bruce Bochy brings in the World Series trophy. Cheering. Nostalgia. Tradition. Etc.
OK, that was the scene setter for the Giants' home opener, a 1-0 win over St. Louis. Now can we talk ball?
This was the perfect game for the Giants to launch the defense of their world championship, to launch it at home. It was perfect in style. They got one run and they pitched flawlessly. That's the template, simple as that. Call it Giants Ball. And you know the Giants will win a bunch of games like this in 2013. If Vegas has any brains, it will give an over/under on the number of Giant's one-run wins. How about 50?
After the game, which the Giants won on an RBI walk — hardly an offensive avalanche — Will Clark addressed the concept of Giants Ball:
“For us to come out here and win a nail-biter and win by one run, an unearned run, it's typical of Giants baseball, goes back to that torture thing. Teams that have been through this before — and we've been through it the last three years — know how to work the little plays. It's fun to play in a game like that because you know every pitch, every fielding play, every at-bat, every swing could mean the ballgame.”
Fun is one way to describe it.
Get a load of these numbers. Buster “National League MVP” Posey has zero RBIs. Marco “National League Championship Series MVP” Scutaro is batting a shrimpy .067. Pablo “World Series MVP” Sandoval is batting a subdued .214, but somehow playing world-class defense despite his prodigious boiler. The Giants, qua team, are batting .210, just above the Mendoza Line.
And there's one other number: 3-1. Which is the Giants' record.
What do all these numbers mean?