With a few days off between pre-season games, Golden State Warriors star and noted Oakland A’s fan Draymond Green decided to take in a ballgame across the bay.
The San Francisco Giants were playing the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, a must-win game for the Giants who were facing elimination. Green was on hand to throw out the first pitch.
Green spent time with the pride of my hometown: rapper, entrepreneur and Marlins Man in the making, E-40, who assisted him with starting off the game. He also met up with players, their families and Giants Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Willie Mays.
Like his teammate Kevin Durant, Green got some advice from Willie Mays about how to throw his ceremonial pitch. However, it’s clear that Green didn’t really heed the living legend’s advice as well as Durant did.
Green, a right hander (and noted A’s fan), threw the ball way outside and in the dirt and had a good laugh about it. Almost like he knew what was coming.
The Giants were competent. They scored runs, Matt Moore threw the ball well and got out of jams. Everyone was doing their job pretty well, which hadn’t been the case in most of the second half of the season.
It was shaping up to be another one of those head-scratcher Giants playoff series complete with random players like Conor Gillaspie coming up with the hero moments. People had started to forget just how bad the Giants bullpen really was this year.
But noted A’s fan Draymond Green hadn’t. With a 5-2 lead heading into the 9th inning, Green pulled manager Bruce Bochy aside and said “Hey, I don’t think that Moore guy has another inning in him. You should really go to the ‘pen.”
See, Draymond is smart. He’s a sports fan. He pays attention. He knew the 2016 Giants’ weakness was the bullpen. This is not at all some tin-foil conspiracy theory that I’m writing through the tears that no other baseball fans in the world care about.
I even tried to find an approved picture to use for this article with Draymond wearing an A’s hat but they’re somehow all gone. This conspiracy runs deep, people.
Anyway, all the Giants had to do to live to see another game was not give up 4 runs in the 9th inning. Bochy listened to Green’s advice, and how! Bringing in five different relievers to try to close out the game. Together, they failed spectacularly.
They started that inning with a 5-2 lead and ended it losing 6-5. That falls just short of the 2002 World Series Game 6 on a scale of fairly recent epic franchise failures. A pretty fitting end to the tire fire that was the Giants’ second-half season.
Take this absolutely true and not at all made-up story how you will. Either Draymond is the hero for ending the long national nightmare that was the Giants’ “Even Year” reign of terror or he was the villain for causing the crushing disappointment Giants fans went through during that inning, that’s open to interpretation.
This has really been a gut-punch of a year for Bay Area sports. First the Sharks lose in the Finals, then the Warriors........well, you know. Then the most consistently reliable sports team in an even year in the last decade can’t even get out of the Division Series.
Anyway, I think we can all agree it’s high time the Warriors’ season got started.
/sobs into keyboard
Only a couple of weeks to go now.
/mutters about pitching changes in my sleep.
Yep, it’s going to be great.