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NYM 4, SF 3 (10): Thanks to Instant Replay, Giants Sweep!

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All Giants fans who vehemently defended the "human element" of the game when umpire Jim Joyce blew the now-infamous "perfect game" call in Detroit last month, please raise your hands. Still feel the same after Sunday's debacle? What if the Giants lose the division by one game? If so, you're saying you'd rather have your favorite team get screwed seven ways to Sunday than have them win on a decision that required instant replay technology or, as Joe Morgan and FP Santangelo like to call it, "computers."

If you still feel this way, you are an idiot. I will explain, but first, for those who somehow haven't heard, the Giants should have won in the bottom of the ninth Sunday when Travis Ishikawa, on third with one out in a tie game, raced home on a ground ball and beat David Wright's high throw. He didn't perhaps beat the throw, he didn't probably beat the throw. He beat the damn throw. Even the Mets catcher said it, along with many other choice words for the home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. It would've been a glorious ending to a brilliant comeback; Ishikawa's two-run pinch single off Frankie Rodriguez tied the game and set up the fateful play at the plate. Instead, the game went to extras and Brian Wilson hung a slider to Ike Davis. 

I believe that if you have the right technology, you as a sports league are obligated first and foremost to use it and get the call right. You can do it in reasonable ways to avoid painful delays and gratuitous challenges. The details can be worked out. Perhaps draw the line on strikes and balls. Perhaps limit managers to one or two challenges a game. But to relish boneheaded, costly, irreversible mistakes as some kind of warm fuzzy human element reminds me of men who long for the days when women knew their place. It's backward, it's small-minded, and it emanates from a little pulsing globule of fear deep inside the reptilian brain that lights up whenever old, comfortable societal systems are challenged. 

A system to let umpires review the...what shall we call it...how about "The Cuzzi Call"?...would have been entirely justified and entirely appropriate Sunday at Mays Field, as it would have been last month in Detroit. Let's hope that on October 3 we don't look back at July 18 and curse Phil Cuzzi's name to eternity.

Players of the week: You expected Buster Posey, perhaps? He's runner-up, but the award for this short week goes to Pablo Sandoval, who was 6 for 12 in the series with four RBI, two walks, three doubles and more beautiful swings than he'd taken in the first half of the year. Buster was 6 for 16, with the rare opposite-field knock Saturday and two doubles, but I'll give Panda a slight edge simply because it's so gratifying to see him swing it with authority.

Now, which starting pitcher to choose: All four pitched with brio against a team stocked with solid hitters, even with Jose Reyes on the shelf. Timmah threw a complete-game shutout with five Ks, allowing six hits and one walk. Zito threw eight, but with 10 Ks and only two hits and two walks. Why do I have to choose? I'll take them both, thanks very much.  

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