If Giants closer Brian Wilson had a megaphone loud enough to reach every Giants fan, he’d say, “Get to the park, and bring a big bag of loud.”
September baseball means that playoff hopes ride every pitch. Every play is magnified. The margin for error, for teams still in the playoff hunt, has narrowed to nothing.
“Basically the whole year has been like spring training getting you ready for that final stretch when you divide the good teams from the teams that go home,” Wilson said yesterday, as he sat at his locker before the game.
“You should be playing every game as if the whole season is on the line but the truth is nobody cares too much about a May 3 loss. Or the extra inning game we might have lost in April. In September you care because there’s not many games left. It’s like a 30-game season. And you build up seven months of practice for that.”
“You can say, ‘Play the game the same way so you don’t put too much pressure on yourself.’ But it’s not played the same way. You play to win and that is it. You will do everything in your power to win. You’ll have pinch runners, defensive replacements. You’ll have maybe five guys pitching one inning.”
“You can describe the atmosphere in the dugout as basically a positive anxiety. All you think about from the first pitch to the last pitch is you want to win. Nothing else matters.”
And fans make a difference, Wilson says.
“We feed off the positive energy that a crowd can bring,” he said. “We notice a packed house and screaming fans going nuts after a diving catch, or after a good pitch or a double play. The team feeds off that kind of energy. For them to come out to the park and have our back through the thick and thin gives us that extra edge that you can only get in your home park.”