Converging upon Civic Center in downtown San Francisco to watch the Giants clinch a World Series victory has become an every-year tradition for fans, but Tuesday night marked the first time thousands of orange and black faithful departed disappointed after watching their team collapse at the hands of the Kansas City Royals 10-0 in Game 6.
The Giants hoped to carry the momentum of Bumgarner’s complete game shutout 5-0 from Game 5 victory back with them to Kansas City and fans showed up as early as noon to find a spot in front of the big screen, anxious for another championship celebration.
San Francisco placed their fate in the hands of veteran pitcher Jake Peavy, who battled through a sore thumb Tuesday night, which may have had an affect on his 1.3 inning disaster of an outing, in which he allowed five runs before retreating to the dugout to watch the wheels fall off.
The Civic Center crowd stood, watching helplessly as the Royals ballooned their lead to 7-0 at the close of the second inning.
“He had a few nice pitches,” Caden Reed, an Urban Studies major from SF State, said of Peavy. “Unfortunately, a few mental errors cost him.”
The crowd didn’t dissipate into the fourth inning, but miserable groans were as ever-present on the backdrop of an orange-lit Civic Center as the clouds of marijuana smoke filled the sky.
With relief pitcher Jean Machi extending the damage on the mound and offensive futility showing up when it wasn’t invited, panic started to set in for Giants fans.
“I’ve always felt like this squad was just good enough to break our hearts,” Martin Orpeza, a creative writing major at SF State, said of the 2014 Giants. “I’m feeling like that’s what might happen.”
The police presence at the Civic Center was considerable. Uniformed officers were visible everywhere, enforcing the no alcohol policy diligently and keeping tensions low.
“People were getting real angry up front,” said Kent Malama, describing some altercations between fans who couldn’t see the big screen.
Malama decided to hightail it to a nearby bar when the score became insurmountable, but his faith was only tested. The Marin native has already planned his return trip Wednesday night for his team’s decisive Game 7.
“I’ll be back tomorrow regardless,” Malama said. “The Giants will pull it out. They always do.”
Kansas City will take the mound at 5:07 p.m. tonight for Game 7 against the Giants, which will decide the 2014 champion of the Fall Classic.