Until the Last Out

It’s more than two hours before game time. We’re about to go out to batting practice. Will this be our last BP? You try not to think about it. You try to do what all of us have been doing since we were down 0-2 to Cincinnati: Focus on just this game. Forget what happened yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It has worked for us so far.

If you walked into our clubhouse right now, you’d think we were about to play a game in August instead of the fourth game of the World Series. Everyone’s relaxed and low-key. There’s loud music playing through the speakers. Some guys are sitting at their lockers, half-dressed, with headphones on and iPads open. Some are watching football on TV. The usual.

I’m guessing, though, that most of the guys didn’t sleep real well last night. I woke up three times. I kept thinking that I’m in a dream. I can’t take it all in. I think I’ll be sitting at my house one day about a month from now and say to my wife, “I think I was in the World Series.”

I also thought last night about my triple in the second inning that scored Hunter for the first run of the game. I was so excited when I reached third base. I hit a triple in the World Series! It was funny, too, that right before that, while I was in the batter’s box, Miguel Cabrera kind of yelled at me for calling time as the pitcher went into his windup. Mostly he was yelling at the umpire. “He can’t call time out right there!” he said. “You got to do a better job!”

Miguel was just playing mind games. I stepped out of the box because Sanchez, the Tigers’ pitcher, was trying to throw too quickly. He does that to knock the batter’s timing off. So I stepped out to slow him down. I guess it worked because he threw me a curveball that I lined into the gap.

Cabrera and I are good friends. He played with my brother when they were 14 or 15 years old, and everyone already knew Miguel would be a star. We played together in winter ball in Venezuela in 2007 and in the World Baseball Classic three years ago. He’s a great player and a great person. We talked and joked during batting practice before Game 2. He was saying how great our pitching staff was and how loud our fans were. He also joked that he would be stepping it up that game so watch out.

I’m happy about the triple, but not happy about the mistake I made in the seventh inning. I hit a chopper to Cabrera at third. The throw was low and Prince Fielder had to stretch and, as it turned out, he pulled his foot off the bag. I was called out, though replays showed I was safe. But I’m mad at myself for sliding into first. It’s the dumbest thing you can do. I had no intention of sliding but I wanted to get to first base so badly that I just found myself diving for the bag. Hunter told me as soon as I got back to the dugout that it makes no sense to slide into first. “I know, I know,” I said.

I didn’t write a blog after Game 2, so I’ll share a few things about that. Yes, I was actually trying to hit Crawford with my relay throw. We practice that play a lot, but I think Brandon was farther out in the field than usual. I threw to the spot I usually throw to, closer to the infield. Marco was there and made an unbelievable throw to nail the runner at home.

As for the bunt that stayed fair — of the thousands of bunts I have hit in games and practices, from the time I was a kid until now, I have never, ever hit a bunt that perfectly. I knew a good bunt right there could change the game. I told myself to calm down in the batter’s box. Be patient. As always, I asked my mother for help. And the ball seemed to actually flutter off my bat and die right inside the line.

There is definitely something special at work with this team. It’s like how the interaction of certain kinds of electrons produces energy. We’re a bunch of the right kinds of electrons interacting in a way that generates good energy. When I’m out in the field, I pray for the pitcher to throw a good pitch. When I’m in the dugout, I pray for the batter to get a hit. Praying is like sending energy. Angel, Marco, Joaquin, Crawford – they all say they pray during the game. I actually feel it when I’m at bat and in the field, like everyone’s with you when you’re in a pressure situation.

When we win, I look to the sky and thank God and my mother for hearing my prayers.

Today, after my restless night, I woke up at around 11. My family and I ate at P.F. Chang’s then I took the bus to the field around 3. For so many guys in here, this is the most important game of their lives. It certainly is for me. W know our pitchers and defense have saved us. But we have to score more runs. The Tigers can do a lot of damage at any time We have to face Miguel and Prince Fielder four times each. That’s a tough thing. One pitch to either one of those guys can change the whole game.

I like that the last two games have been so close. That’s what the World Series is supposed to be. The best teams fighting until the last out.

13 Comments

I enjoyed reading all your blogs but there seems to be one missing: the last one for 2012. My daughter and I saw you and your family at the Victory Parade, but the car went by so fast that we didn’t have a chance to cheer you on. You were definitely a part of the reason why the Giants won the World Series Championship – and I hope to see you out there playing in the outfield in 2013. Happy New Year!

Gregor, thank you SO much for keeping this blog! I share your last name, thanks to being married to a wonderful man from Nuevo Horizonte, Caracas. My son is 7, and he looks up to you immensely. As soon as I can find a jersey for him with your name, I will be so proud to have him share this name connection with a truly great player and genuinely admirable person. Thank you for being that, for the children, for all of us.

I just found your blog a want to thank you – wish I had seen it before to be able to follow your journey. After 48 years as a Giant fan (I remember 1964) I had the privilege of being in Detroit to see you win game 4 – a spontaneous decision to get tickets and drive 7 hours after game 3. It was one of my great thrills.

Electrons?!? Gregor, if this is really you writing, I think you have a future in that as well.

You had and the rest of the Giants had a great World Series. It was a ton of fun to watch and I am excited for what 2013 has to offer.

Thank you so much for blogging this season! I love reading it! I’m so proud of the GIANTS for standing strong and not giving up!!!! The whole season plus post-season was just amazing!!! I so appreciate sharing your thoughts in this blog. It’s been a joy to read and share this season with you. CONGRATULATIONS!

CONGRATULATIONS, GREGOR!!! YOU DID IT! You helped your teammates win the World Series. I hope this season has taught you not to doubt yourself, to keep believing until that last out. Be proud of your contributions to the Giants. You’re a part of history now and we Giants fans will never forget all the excitement and thrills that you brought into our lives. Muchas gracias! We look forward to seeing you again next season!

Gregor, thanks so much for taking the time to blog your experience this season. I have to say out of all the moments in last nights game 4, you looking up towards the sky made me get really choked up. I could only imagine you were thanking your mom and god. I’m sure both are extremely proud of you. Congratulations on you and your teams much deserved win. WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS, THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS. WOOOOHOOO!!

Gregor, thank you so much for blogging during the season and especially during the postseason. I know it’s not the easiest time to share your thoughts, but I know we all appreciate it. You are an incredible player who made a huge, huge, HUGE difference for this team, not only in the postseason but also during the regular season. We’re all so proud to have someone like you in the orange and black!!

Thank you Gregor for your great season and for helping to bring San Francisco another World Championship! You all are the BEST!!! Have a great off-season, we will miss your posts, good luck and thank you for sharing, we all greatly appreciated your insights.

Congratulations! You got the hits, made the catches, threw the strikes. What a terrific series; we are all so proud of our SF Giants! Thanks for sharing the season with us fans; it made us appreciate our team even more!

Gregor, you are SUCH an amazing player and person. Maybe it’s because of your nickname, the Great White Shark, being my most favorite animal in the whole world or maybe it’s just because you’re amazing, but either way I LOVE you and I think you’re amazing. I hope you can stay in San Francisco because if you don’t, I will miss you so so so much. Thank you so much for all the amazing things you’ve done for us this season, I really really hope you can contribute more next season! :) GO GIANTS!!

Gregor, YOU ROCK!!! Get it done tonight. This has been a fantastic run…couldn’t ask for more as a fan…incredible ride and INSANE number of key contributions from you. Thank you so much for continuing to write and for all you’ve given to the team this year. PELEA!! GO GIANTS!!

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