SAN FRANCISCO -- Think, for a moment, of that ball striking the top of the center-field wall at AT&T Park.
Think about where it was in that instant, where it could have headed and what it could have meant to Game 2 of the World Series between the Giants and the Rangers.
You remember the ball, right? It was struck by Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler in the top of the fifth of what was, at that time, a scoreless game.
It traveled roughly 420 feet, hit the top of the wall and then ...
Well, it met its date with destiny.
If the Giants aren't fated to win this World Series title, don't you think that ball bounces out?
If the Giants aren't about to do what no Giants team has done since moving to the Bay Area in 1958, why is Matt Cain outpitching Cliff Lee in the Fall Classic?
If the Giants aren't bound for glory, why is Edgar Renteria relevant? Why is Cody Ross a household name? Why does Bruce Bochy have the touch of gold?
We see this every year in the postseason -- one team always finding that timely hit, always executing that important out and always getting that helpful break.
In 2010, it's the San Francisco Giants. And if they don't finish what they've started here in the Fall Classic, it will be because they've disregarded their destiny and tripped over their own feet.
Hard to imagine that scenario. Not after what we witnessed against the Braves and Phillies, and certainly not after what we saw here in these lopsided Games 1 and 2. Games that made the Giants look destined for a title.
Kinsler's near-blast staying in for a double -- and Cain subsequently getting out of the jam -- was hardly the only development that thrust the Giants in the direction of a 9-0 victory Thursday. But considering what a different game this might have been had it gone out and the Rangers grabbed hold of the momentum, it was the most telltale moment for a Giants team that continues to defy all doubters and live a charmed postseason existence.
"Things happen for a reason," said center fielder Andres Torres, who had a better view of that ball than anybody in the park, "and I was like 'Wow, how'd that happen?' Sometimes there are things you can't explain. I just said, 'This is for us,' and not just this play. We've been playing like that, and we're going to continue to be positive."
A look at how teams taking a 2-0 World Series lead have fared.
World Series facts and figures
Fifty-two teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the Fall Classic, with 40 of the previous 51 going on to win the World Series.
Starting in 1985, 17 of the last 25 Fall Classics, including this year's, have headed to Game 3 with one team on top, 2-0.
Thirteen of the 16 clubs that led, 2-0, won the Series. The 1996 Braves, '86 Red Sox and '85 Cardinals led, 2-0, but lost the Series.
The home team has taken a 2-0 lead 35 times (including these Giants) and has won 28 of those previous 34 Series.
Since the 1981 Yankees went up 2-0 at home but lost the Series, the last 11 home teams that took a 2-0 lead went on to win.
They have plenty to be positive about. The Giants shocked the baseball world by exposing Lee's human side in Game 1, and this after taking down the game's most vaunted rotation in the NLCS against Philly. They have been underdogs each step of the season and the postseason, but all they do is win, thanks to three horses in the rotation and a different hero at the plate each night.
"I think the PR guy who came up with [the slogan] 'There's Magic Inside' should get a pretty good raise," injured veteran Mark DeRosa said.
Magic, sure. But how about destiny?
"I'm starting to believe it," DeRosa said. "I've been in the playoffs with some great clubs and thought, 'All right, let's throw our hats and gloves out there. We're going.' And we were swept and gone.
"But this team has just found a way to grind it out. The pitchers have kept us around. Our offense has gotten some timely hits. I mean, 20 runs out of this offense in the first two games of the World Series?"
Yeah, we didn't see it coming. And the Rangers certainly didn't see it coming, either.
Yet in some form, we see something like this every year. One team collects enough moments, major and minor, to become a champion. We file the most dramatic ones -- such as Mookie Wilson's grounder rolling under Bill Buckner's glove, Kirk Gibson limping out to homer off the unhittable Dennis Eckersley, or, going way back, Willie Mays running down Vic Wertz's uncatchable fly ball to deep center -- in our memories.
But there are plenty of mundane ones that add up, too. It could be an umpire's call or a base hit from an unlikely source or a grounder that takes a crazy kick in the dirt.
Someday, the members of this Giants team might be looking back at these moments playing out before us as the ones that sprung them to a title. They might remember that ball, the way it bounced back onto the field and the way every other development in this important Game 2 went their way.
And they might come to the conclusion that, yes, they were 2010's team of destiny.