Urban: NLCS Playoff Blog, Game 4

October 21, 2010, 2:14 am
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Oct. 20, 2010

UPDATED: 7:32 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Whoa.Id have posted this update a few minutes earlier, but AT&T Park was shaking so hard I couldnt pin down my keyboard.When Pablo Sandoval shrugged off what appeared to be a very big and badcall against him by tagging a two-run double in the bottom of the sixthinning, it capped the greatest single mini-drama of an at-bat Ive seenin a long, long time.With runners at second and third with nobody out thanks to duh CodyRoss, the beleaguered Panda pulled a ball down the right-field linethat appeared to catch paint. It was immediately ruled foul, drawing ahowl of protest from Sandoval and an angry sprint out of the dugoutfrom Giants manager Bruce Bochy.Its not a reviewable call, though (yet), so it stood, and the sellout crowd roared its displeasure. Moments later, Sandoval sent a pitch roaring into the arcade aboveMcCovey Cove way foul this time with a look of utter disdain on hisface before bitterly swatting his bat with his hand.The man was not going to be denied. You could see it on his face. Thiswas not the cuddly, infectiously happy Kung Fu Panda. This was an angryand determined Panda, ready to kick some serious ass.And he did, drilling a high fastball into the left-center gap to givethe Giants a 5-4 lead, and as he pulled into second base he imploredthe ape-nuts crowd to go full-throat gorilla, lifting them upfiguratively if not nearly literally with both arms, up and down once,twice, three times with feeling.And up the crowd went. And went. And the Giants giddy dugout of grown men went with them.Just a phenomenal moment. For Sandoval, for Giants players, for Giants fans.And dont think there werent some wide-eyes folks from Philly in thispress box shaking their heads in awe, trying their best to conceal thatyes, it was a pretty phenomenal moment -- at least to witness -- forthem, too.

UPDATED: 7:10 p.m.

SANFRANCISCO -- Was the result of the Madison Bumgarner-v-Joe Blantonmatchup the same, or the opposite, of what came out of Tim Lincecum v.Roy Halladay?In terms of hype, pretty dissimilar. Lincecum-Halladay is the Policeheadlining in their prime; Bumgarner-Blanton is Oingo Boingo headliningcounty fairs on the way down from the middle of the musical mountain.But unlike Lincecum vs. Halladay, which was nice but not nearly asnuclear as wed been led to believe, Bumgarner-Blanton came pretty closeto living up to the advance billing. Or did they live down to it?Tomayto, tohmahto.In failing, both, to get out of fifth inning, both looked very much like the No. 4 starters they are.

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