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Game 5 NLCS, Giants 5, Cards 0: Breathe In, Breathe Out

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Welcome. Close your eyes, open them again, and imagine the stresses, the anxieties, the worries of the day melting out of your forehead... down into your neck... past your shoulders... all the way through your arms and out your fingertips. Shake your hands lightly to help them leave. Good-bye, worries.

Feel your body sink into the floor, its own weight providing the relaxation and substance that puts you here, now. With all the time in the world, slowly inhale through your left nostril, exhale through your right, breathe deeply into your lungs, and repeat after me: 

Zito might, or Zito might not, and tonight he did. #RallyZito.

Doesn't that feel good? Let your thoughts drift past like change-ups just beyond the outside corner. Do not swing, as Yadier Molina did, for it is not worth losing grip of your bat. You can let that be a metaphor if you want. 

Sometimes the smallest gestures can be the most powerful: a smile, a breath, a slight mechanical adjustment suggested by Dave Righetti, a bunt single with the third baseman inexplicably playing back. Let your mind be open to the possibilities: Zito might. 

Javier Lopez said once that he inscribed this phrase inside his cap: "The relentless flow of the positive river." He might have been talking about this:

 

All the Giants were rowing in unison Friday night, in the flow, the oars solid and cool in their palms. Yesterday's frustration is today's flow is Sunday's... no predictions. Predicting the outcome of one baseball game is not useful. 

But if one baseball game has any use, it would be Barry Zito's gem, and the Giants' Game 5 victory, to ring the bell that tells us we've gotten our money's worth. I'm not talking about Zito's contract -- although this year he's come closer than ever as a Giant to earning his paycheck. I mean that we, as fans, as supporters, as ticket buyers, have gotten our money's worth from the team this year. Whatever happens the rest of this series, or perhaps even the next, the Giants have given us what we have asked, what we have hoped for: a fighting chance to do something truly special. That, and all kinds of tenacity, surprise, entertainment, redemption, suspense, hope, and best of all, raw Dodger humiliation, with its unmistakable smell of ozone, swimming pool chlorine, and asphalt baking in 93-degree heat. Thank you, Giants. 

It could get better, especially if Hunter Pence stops hitting weak ground balls and Buster Posey finds his cape, but I'm feeling pretty damn good about where things are right now. Breathe in with me, breathe out, and somehow we'll get through these next interminable 40 hours. 

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Header photo courtesy of Flickr user eviltomthai under a Creative Commons license.