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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Giants Win National League West

It took them until the season's final day to do so, but the San Francisco Giants will be playing October baseball for the first time since 2003, after defeating the 2nd place San Diego Padres Sunday.

Jonathan Sanchez got the start, and although he was a little wild (walked 5 batters in 5+ innings), he kept the Padres off the board, and allowed the Giants offense to give themselves an early cushion. Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff each had RBI base hits in the third inning, putting the Giants on top 2-0, a lead they would not relinquish. The Giants bullpen did an epic job, once again in holding down San Diego for the second half of that ballgame, starting with Santiago Casilla's inducing double play with 2 on and nobody out in the 6th inning after relieving Sanchez, who at that point was having trouble finding the strike zone. Casilla ended up going 1.2 scoreless with a couple of k's, was followed by scoreless outings from Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo. Then, for good measure, Buster Posey added some insurance with a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th inning to make it 3-0. I think at that moment it kind of sunk in; the Giants are going to the playoffs. That's the first time I've been able to type those words since I started this Giants Baseball Blog at the end of the 2005 season, and man does it feel good to finally be able to do so. Brian Sabean came on in the 9th inning to cap off what was a great season for him personally, and officially put the Giants into the playoffs with a 1-2-3 inning for his 48th save of the season.

So, the Padres made Giants' fans hold their breath a bit there by winning Friday and Saturday, but I think in the end, we all knew that there was something special about this Giants team, and I don't think they're quite ready to stop playing yet in 2010. Now, instead of worrying about any 1-game playoff situations, the Giants get to focus solely on the Atlanta Braves, who they'll be facing in the upcoming NLDS. Also, by avoiding having to extend the season for any 1-game playoff, it allows the Giants to set-up their rotation in the best possible way to face Atlanta. I'm going to assume that Tim Lincecum will go in game 1, followed by Matt Cain then Jonathan Sanchez. Bochy could go with Zito in game three, seeing that Zito has all that postseason experience, but Sanchez is going through a stretch in which he's been extremely tough to hit. He's allowed just 20 base hits over his last 38.2 innings of work, and has an overall BAA of .193 since the All-Star break. The Giants other young lefty, Madison Bumgarner, needs to get some consideration also, as he's been on point lately as well. The left-handed rookie has allowed just 5 runs over his last 6 starts, a span of 38 innings... However Boch determines to lineup the rotation, he has a few days to do so, as the Giants won't play their first game vs. Atlanta until Thursday night in San Francisco.

Stay tuned here to GBB, as we'll be one of the more active websites covering the Giants playoff run, as we'll likely be updating the site daily (after a day off Monday like the Giants players are getting), with at least something, during the playoffs. And we'll have much, much more in regards to previewing this upcoming Giants-Braves round 1 match-up, but right now, it's time to take in and enjoy the feat this team just accomplished. After struggling to stay afloat around mid-season, at which time they were consistently about 7-9 games out of first place, this team really finished strong to make it to where they're at. What surprised me the most, is that they did this without their highest-paid free-agent signees of the winter in Mark DeRosa, they received a huge drop off in production out of Pablo Sandoval from '09, and saw Tim Lincecum go through a 2-month stretch in which he looked like an average/below average ML pitcher, and not the 2-time reigning Cy Young winner that he is. Just goes to show how important those in-season acquisitions of Pat Burrell, Jose Guillen, Mike Fontenot, Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramierez were. Oh yeah, that kid named Posey helped out a bit too after arriving in May too, in-fact, as good as Huff was, Buster Posey was the Giants' MVP in 2010, and they would not have won the West without him.
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4 Comments:

  • At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Jack the Ripper said…

    Feels great to be back in the playoffs. What a journey huh! I really think they have legit shot at making it back to the WS too (knock on wood). Do the Braves, Reds or Phillies really scare you that much? Ok, maybe the Phills are going to be a task, but what the hey, the Giants are roolin'!!! Reminds me of the good old Humm Baby Days!

     
  • At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess I must have missed Sabean coming on for the save in the 9th! ;)

     
  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger drowningboy said…

    Listen to the latest Zito song!!!

    http://slumwords.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-ballad-of-barry-zito/

     
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