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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giants Headed to NLCS

After getting shut down in game two by Bronson Arroyo, things didn't look good for the Orange and Black heading into Cincinnati. But once again, this team showed why they're one of the best road teams in baseball, and completed the unthinkable comeback over a very good Reds team.

The Giants squeaked out the win in game 3, then they finally got their offense going in game four, and kept it going through game five. First I wanted to talk a bit about game four, cause we don't even have that deciding match Thursday without the gutsy performance by the Giants bullpen. One of the keys to Wednesday's game was Barry Zito's command, and he just didn't have it, but George Kontos and Tim Lincecum each picked him up. Lincecum had a dominant, vintage like performance coming in during the fourth inning, and shutting the Reds down through the 8th. The guy who wasn't included in the NLDS rotation certainly made his case for returning for the NLCS after throwing 6 1/3 shut out innings in relief this series. He was as important as any arm on that staff vs. Cinci, a series in which the Giants didn't get their typical dominant starting pitching. The most important thing for the Giants Wednesday though, was they finally put up some runs off Reds' pitching. Angel Pagan finally broke out of his slump reaching base four times, and Pablo Sandoval came up with the knockout blow. Luckily for the Giants, they had more left over for the deciding game 5.

Matt Cain got off to a strong start in game 5, needing just over 50 pitches to get through four innings, but in the fifth, he kind of hit a wall. Once again though, the Giants were able to get on the board first, and they did so in tremendous fashion. I know most people will remember the Buster Posey 2-strike grand slam to push the game to 6-0, but the guy who got it all started, and a guy who won't get a bunch of publicity but was key throughout this five game set was Gregor Blanco. The left-fielder came up with that big 2-run homer in game four that gave the Giants a 3-0 lead, then came ended up starting the Giants 6-run fifth with a solid single off Mat Latos which broke his rhythm. He then came around to score on Brandon Crawford's triple to right, and Crawford is another guy who really stepped up with the bat and glove in game 5. Although many people were expecting Joaquin Arias to get the nod at short after his multi-hit game Wednesday, Boch stuck with the unit that's got them this far, and it certainly paid off Thursday. So the top and bottom of the order each picked it up like they had to, and we saw the middle guys respond accordingly.

I know there aren't Divisional Series MVP's, but if there were, this would be a tough one to give out, just because so many players contributed in the 3-game comeback. You'd probably have to go Posey, just because he came up with the biggest swing of the bat in the biggest game of the series, but Lincecum, Pagan and Sandoval all would be in the mix as well. The Giants now get a few days to regroup and rest up, and then it's off to the NLCS for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. They'll either be heading home to take on St. Louis, or they'll be off to Washington to face the Nationals. Either way, this team is ready, and after the comeback they just pulled, their confidence has to be sky high at this point!
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10 Comments:

  • At 8:27 AM, Anonymous baseball fan said…

    I couldn't believe it when Buster hit that slam. He hit that a mile. Go Giants.

     
  • At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Orange October said…

    This was for all the fans that thought we were toast after those first two. Just shows you can never count out the SFG's!

     
  • At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lets go Giants. We can beat the Cardinals. This is our year!

     
  • At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Host PPH said…

    I am glad to here that they haven't lost their touch as a road team. I hope that they can keep it up.

     
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