Hey, so the Giants and Cardinals are going to play each other in the National League Championship Series!
Excuse me while I go put my head in the oven.
It's been a long time since a team other than San Francisco or St. Louis has represented the National League in the World Series. You probably remember that team very well. It was in 2009, when the Phillies lost to the Yankees in the Fall Classic.
Since then, it's been nothing but at least one of these two franchises. Every year. Every dadgum year.
It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been the Phillies that these two teams stepped on to get there in 2010 and 2011. But the Phils acted as their stepping stones in those two seasons, losing to the Giants in the NLCS and then to the Cardinals in the NLDS the following season.
These two franchises dug the hole for the Phillies, dumped their carcasses in the hole, and covered them with dirt. And now, they're dancing on the graves.
OK, perhaps that analogy went a bit too far. And yes, this is all sour grapes. I make no bones about that. It's not easy to see these two teams take the Phils' place as the preeminent franchises in the National League. But they are now the gold standard in the Senior Circuit, not the Phils. And they beat the Phillies in order to get there.
How? Let's remember the ways.
Cody Ross, man. Two homers off Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the 2010 NLCS. I will never not hate this guy.
Even though the Phillies won Game 2, Ross hit his third homer of the series. His face makes little children cry, you know.
Cole Hamels pitched like a maniac in Game 3, but the Phils' lack of offense against Matt Cain and stupid Aubrey Huff's two-run single put the Phils in a 2-1 hole.
With Roy Oswalt pitching in relief, Juan Uribe hits a walk-off sacrifice fly to win Game 4, a total and complete heart-breaker. These are the games the Phillies won in 2008 and '09.
This was the moment the Giants went from being an annoying opponent to a team worthy of loathing, with Jonathan Sanchez acting like a punk in Game 6.
Juan Uribe, who we already don't like very much, hits the cheapest home run ever to win an NLCS. I still can't believe this went out.
Then we had to watch this goober shut the door. Carlos Ruiz hit what should have been a single to right that would have at least loaded the bases with one out. Instead it's an inning-ending double play. Then, Howard strikes out with the bat on his shoulder.
Now, onto the Cardinals!
After the Phils won Game 1, Cliff Lee blew a 4-0 lead in Game 2, getting BABIP'd to death in Game 2's 5-4 loss. Lee can't stop the Cardinals from dinking and dunking them into oblivion. This was among the hardest losses to absorb in team history.
After winning Game 3 in dramatic fashion (The Ben Francisco Game), the Phillies had to love the pitching match-up for Game 4, Roy Oswalt vs. Edwin Jackson. But Oswalt wasn't up to the task, burned by David Freese on two monster hits.
Oh. Right. The Rally Squirrel. Ugh.
Game 5. The game that destroyed the Phillies, and more specifically, Roy Halladay. He was never the same after this game. Witness the last great moment of Doc Halladay's career.
Chris Carpenter was simply just a little bit better.
So, Juan Uribe hits a cheap home run to right field that wins the NLCS for the Giants the year before, and neither Ibanez' or Utley's balls leave the park? Come ON, baseball angels.
And then, the seminal moment for the franchise. Symbolic, in every sense. Howard ruptures his Achilles. A great run by both the team, and the player, is over.
This is why we can't stand the Giants and the Cardinals.