A legendary game for Cody (2-homer) Ross

Cody Ross: The accidental legend continues. Actually, the tale

of Ross’ October journey with the

Giants is now moving beyond legend

and towards the stuff of playoff myth and magic.

And, maybe, destiny.

Only weeks ago, he was an after-thought, and now Ross is the

most important, most dangerous and most-electrifying player in the

universe. He’s “Babe Ross,” as described by

Giants radio voice Duane Kuiper

Saturday night.

Of course, Ross wasn’t the only significant contributor in the

Giants’ 4-3 Game 1 victory over the

heavily-favored Philadelphia Phillies here.

But, echoing his heroics in the

Giants’ first-round victory over

Atlanta, once again on Saturday, Ross was the man who met the

moment.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience for me,” Ross said

afterwards, sounding like he really was struggling to believe

it.

First, Ross rocked Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay with a stunning

solo home run in the third inning after Halladay had retired the

first seven

Giants in order.

That blast, said left fielder Pat Burrell, proved that the

Giants could get to the pitcher who

threw a no-hitter in his last appearance.

“It was huge for us,” Burrell said. “We just needed to go out

there and put something on the board.

“And more than anything, just to kind of calm down our offense,

because when you look at the last start (Halladay) had, there

wasn’t a whole lot to hit for those guys.”

And, after the Phillies tied it 1-1 on

Giants starter Tim Lincecum, Ross

wandered back to the plate in the fifth inning and hit another

homer off of Halladay, putting the

Giants ahead to stay.

Both times, Ross turned on a cut-fastball that moved to the

inner half of the plate, and whipped it into the left-field

seats.

All this from someone the

Giants acquired in August only

after the Florida Marlins released him.

And the

Giants only claimed Ross in order

to block him from going to their division-rival San Diego Padres,

who came to the team when it already had Jose Guillen as their

full-time right fielder.

But since then, Guillen has faded away and Ross, who grew up

wanting to be a rodeo clown, has grabbed the right-field job.

“You look at this team and we do have some characters here,”

manager Bruce Bochy said. “I compare them to the Dirty Dozen.

That’s the way they play?

“When you’re talking about Cody Ross, here’s a guy that wanted

to be a rodeo clown, and that’s a tough job.”

It was Ross who drove in the only run in Game One in the NLDS

against Atlanta and it was Ross who broke up Derek Lowe’s no-hitter

with a homer and then drove in the game-winner in the

series-clinching Game 4.

Now he has almost single-handedly wrecked a Halladay start for

the Phillies, and helped put the

Giants up 1-0 in this series.

“It’s not a surprise,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I mean, we got

him for a reason. He’s coming through big-time for us.”

After Ross’ first homer, there was a heavy shush in Citizens

Bank Park, as if something bizarre had just occurred.

After the second homer, the Philadelphia crowd just seemed

dazed. How was it possible that the

Giants’ No. 8 hitter was

stomping one of the game’s greatest pitchers?

Did they even know who he was?

“I just try to take pride in going up there every single at-bat

and try to get something going for my team,” Ross said. “Anything

that you can do to spark your club and to get the emotions

rolling.

“I’m not going up there every single at-bat trying to hit a home

run to break up a no-hitter or try to get a hit off Halladay. But

I’ll take it and we’ll move on tomorrow.”

In the post-game discussions, the

Giants could only smile and repeat

that they realize something very special is happening here.

The Phillies are the team with the former NL MVPs and

back-to-back trips to the World Series.

Meanwhile the

Giants have great pitchers? and

cast-offs like Ross and Burrell, who hit a key run-scoring double

in the sixth.

But now it’s the Phillies who have just lost at home, who are

hearing loud questions about their clutch hitting, and who are

staring at the possibility of going down 0-2 today.

And it’s Ross the accidental playoff superstar who is the

dominant presence in the NL playoffs, riding the surge of his own

hitting, and, possibly, the waves of destiny, too.