Game Six. On the road. To win the World Series.
Seriously, people – don't twelve years and two rings provide enough distance to bury the specter of Anaheim and the Rally Monkey?
Because, in retrospect, the San Francisco's only two World Series championships came relatively easily, taking just five games in 2010 and a four-game sweep in 2012.
But Tuesday night the Giants will find themselves in a fight with a resilient and desperate Royals team. And the only similar frame of reference of San Francisco fans is that ill-fated night in 2002.
Say it with me: Eight outs away. A 5-0 lead. Scott Spezio's three run home run. Troy Freaking Glaus. Dusty Baker handing the ball to Russ Ortiz. Robb Nen with his shoulder hanging from his body.
Deafening noise sticks. Ripped down clubhouse plastic sheeting. Unpopped Champagne. Another October of San Francisco futility.
Tuesday's game may make decade-old ulcers reappear. Cause flashbacks and freak outs.
But 2014 is not 2002. And this Giants team is most definitely not that Giants team.
Some things you won't see at Kaufman Stadium in Game 6:
* Bruce Bochy handing the ball prematurely to Jake Peavy for a job well done. While Baker's gift to Ortiz – coming when he removed Ortiz after 98 pitches with two on and two out in the seventh and turning the game over to a bullpen that had been mostly untouchable – did not cause the Angels to win the World Series, it was an unlucky omen.
"That was a move that made us all mad," said Spezio, who was in the on-deck circle and hit his three-run homer in the next at-bat.
*Bochy asking a worn out reliever to save the day. Thanks to Madison Bumgarner's brilliance in Game 5, everyone in the bullpen is available to Bochy (even Hunter Strickland, who the Giants fans hope would not play the role of Felix Rodriguez). As Jeremy Affeldt said Sunday night, "we're not just rested, we're ready."
* A rally monkey on the scoreboard – though that would be kind of funny if Kansas City dug up some footage, just to see Larry Baer run screaming out of theball park.
* A dejected team if the Giants do happen to lose and the Royals force a Game 7. That was always the weirdest part of the Game 6 loss to me: the utter conviction that the series was over that night, though a Game 7 would be played the next day.
In the Giants team hotel bar the night after Game 6, it felt like a wake. Absolutely no one thought that the Giants starter Livan Hernandez would beat John Lackey. In contrast, this Giants team has faith in itself to win any game.
While the manager and all the players have changed since 2002, there are still plenty of people around the Giants organization who carry the pain of October 26, 2002 around with them. Among those who bore witness to that loss: Baer, Brian Sabean, Mike Murphy (who had to pull down that plastic sheeting in the visiting clubhouse), coaches Dave Righetti, Ron Wotus, Joe Lefebrve and Shawon Dunston - who played in that game.
As The Chronicle's John Shea reported Brandon Crawford also carries that game with him. He was a 15-year old fan who found himself depressed for several days after the crushing loss.
"Hopefully this comes out better than it did then," Crawford said after Game 5.
The 2014 Giants team has been winning postseason games more like that 2002 Angels team did, with everyone contributing. The 2002 Giants were a team built around Barry Bonds swinging for the fences. Bonds would have won the MVP of the World Series if the Giants had held on to win the championship.
In looking back at that game, Spezio told the Los Angeles Times, "The great thing about it, that I think everyone will remember, is that the (Angels) team beat the superstars. I think that's what most of us are most proud of. The fact that we were a team and won it unselfishly."
That's the way the Giants have been winning games, with everyone in the order contributing, creating rallies out of thin air and ground outs. Pablo Sandoval actually scorns anyone who asks about home runs, saying, "To win games you don’t need to hit home runs especially the way we’ve been playing. Home runs don’t matter. Just score runs.”
That's not the way the 2002 Giants approached the game.
And one other thing is obviously quite different. That Giants team didn't know how to close out a World Series. These are many of the same players who won six elimination games in 2012. This Giants team is seasoned and experienced.
You might be scared of Game Six. But the Giants aren’t.
Ann Killion is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org