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The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:13 pm

Last night I had the pleasure of attending one of the most exciting baseball games in my life: Game 7 of the fight for the National League Pennant in San Francisco. The home team Giants completed the most unprecedented run of elimination game wins in baseball history by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in three straight games, absolutely dominating them. MVP of the series was second baseman Marco Scutaro, who batted .500 for the series, 14 hits in 28 at bats -- an phenomenal accomplishment in a championship series!

Now, it's on to the the World Series -- I can't hardly wait!!


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Giants' Game 7 romp led by Cain, Scutaro
Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 12:56 a.m., Tuesday, October 23, 2012

As rain pounded the field in the ninth inning, second baseman Marco Scutaro spread his arms and looked to the heavens. As the water soaked his face, he beamed a 100,000-watt smile.


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Moments later, he looked up again. This time his ticket to the World Series, a Matt Holliday popup, was falling his way. As Sergio Romo bounced on the mound like a kid on a pogo stick, Scutaro squeezed his glove and the Giants had a most improbable pennant.

Down three games to one in the National League Championship Series, they dominated the Cardinals over the final three games and bulldozed the defending World Series champions 9-0 Monday night.

The Giants outscored St. Louis 20-1 in Games 5, 6, and 7 and won a decisive seventh game for the first time in franchise history, while joining the 1996 Braves and 2003 Marlins as the only teams to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win an NLCS.

"How fitting that it happened in the rain," team president Larry Baer said. "October is our most beautiful month in San Francisco and it's pouring outside. It's crazy, just like everything this team has done."

Now the Giants will play the well-rested Detroit Tigers in a World Series that seemed out of reach so many times. Manager Bruce Bochy's boys won six elimination wins to get there, the second time a team has eluded the reaper's scythe that many times in a single postseason.


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In doing so they ended the season of another team that had a unique way of slipping from mortality's reach. The Giants formally ended the Cardinals' reign as World Series champions.

The Giants also gave the faithful a thrill it could not enjoy in 2010, a postseason series-clinching at AT&T Park. Many will return for Game 1 of the Series on Wednesday night.

Romo was asked to get the final out of a Game 7 blowout as rain fell so hard the area behind third base could have been called Lake Panda. Home-plate umpire Gary Darling momentarily stopped play so the grounds crew could apply dry dirt to the infield.

That only heightened the anticipation for 43,056 fans who did not seem to care a whit about getting drenched. They did not pop open umbrellas. They just waved their orange towels.

When play resumed, Romo got Holliday - of course - to pop up to Scutaro - of course. The entire narrative of their collision in Game 2 came full circle as the Giants reached their second World Series in three seasons.

"I was just like praying, 'Please, I've got to catch this ball,' " Scutaro said. "I got kind of lucky, too. When he hit the flyball the rain stopped a little bit. A couple of minutes earlier maybe I don't catch it."

Romo stood in his corner of another clubhouse party and had to laugh.

"I'm from the desert, so I don't know much about rain," he said. "I was very happy to go out there in the rain, the sunshine, it doesn't matter. I just wanted to play with these guys and make them smile, and now we're going to the World Series."

The mob of newly minted National League champs navigated toward Scutaro after the catch, which also was fitting. The midseason acquisition won the series Most Valuable Player award in a runaway.

He batted .500 and tied a League Championship Series record with 14 hits, two of which contributed to a burst of seven Giants runs in the first three innings that turned what was supposed to be a tense, winner-take-all game into a 3-hour, 35-minute victory lap.

Scutaro also broke Will Clark's franchise record of 13 hits in a single postseason series, which he set in the 1989 NLCS.

But Scutaro did not have the Game 7 hit that will become etched in Giants postseason lore.

They were leading 2-0 in the third inning, one run scoring on a single by winning pitcher Matt Cain, when they loaded the bases with nobody out to chase starter Kyle Lohse. The rally started with a Scutaro single, which Pablo Sandoval followed with a double.

Joe Kelly relieved Lohse and threw one pitch to Hunter Pence, who was 3-for-24 in the series. The ball broke Pence's bat as he made contact. Replays showed that as the barrel busted, the bat hit the ball two more times, imparting wicked spin and forcing the ball to change course.


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That explains why shortstop Pete Kozma initially broke to his right, then had to do a 180 and go left. His diving attempt was futile. The ball rolled into center field and two runs scored on the hit. Buster Posey then rumbled home from first for a 5-0 lead when Jon Jay bobbled the ball.

Pence said he did not feel the bat hit the ball more than once, but he saw it on the replay. So did Clark, a Giants special instructor.

"I've never hit a ball like that. I've never seen a ball hit like that," Clark said. "That's the beauty of baseball.

"We've talked about the baseball gods before. The baseball gods were shining on the Giants."

Helping themselves
In each of the final three games of the NLCS, the Giants' starting pitcher drove in a run. A look at those at-bats:

Game 5: Barry Zito, bunt single scored Gregor Blanco in fourth inning. Giants won 5-0.

Game 6: Ryan Vogelsong, fielder's choice grounder scored Brandon Belt in second inning. Vogelsong safe on error. Giants won 6-1.

Game 7: Matt Cain, single to center scored Blanco in second inning. Giants won 9-0.

NLCS win streak
The Giants have won the NLCS in each of their past four appearances. The full rundown since the advent of divisional play in 1969:

Year Opponent Result
2012 Cardinals Giants in 7
2010 Phillies Giants in 6
2002 Cardinals Giants in 5
1989 Cubs Giants in 5
1987 Cardinals Cards in 7
1971 Pirates Pirates in 4 (best-of-5)

Wednesday's game
Who:
Tigers (Verlander 17-8) at Giants (TBA)

What: World Series, Game 1

Where: AT&T Park

When: 5:07 p.m.

TV/Radio: Channel: 2 Channel: 40 /680, 860-Spanish

Giants vs. Cards
Best-of-7

Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4

Game 2: Giants 7, Cardinals 1

Game 3: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

Game 4: Cardinals 8, Giants 3

Game 5: Giants 5, Cardinals 0

Game 6: Giants 6, Cardinals 1

Game 7: Giants 9, Cardinals 0


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One-sided affairs
Not only did the Giants win the final three games of the NLCS, they did so in overwhelming fashion. In composite:

Team: Runs - Hits - Errors
Giants: 20 - 29 - 1
Cardinals: 1 - 19 - 4

http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-Game-7-romp-led-by-Cain-Scutaro-3972641.php

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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:58 am

I'm sorry I'm going to have to put a curse on the Giants in game one, as I am betting on Barry Zito to get the win, and the Giant's to ride the great (awesome) momentum that they have going!!!!! 8) It's great that your team won, and they were dominating, but it wasn't an exciting game, as it was totally one sided :!: 8)

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:45 am

John,

Did you stay for the whole game?

It was pouring at the end!!

I hope your team has good luck in the World Series.

The Tigers have a great pitching staff but you can't bet against the Giants this year.

If they go down 3 games to none then that is just where the Giants want them!! :wink:

::rocks

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:48 am

Rain don't matter when your winning!
Sounds like exciting times to be a Giants fan.

norrie

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:05 am

Mitch wrote:John,

Did you stay for the whole game?

It was pouring at the end!!

I hope your team has good luck in the World Series.

The Tigers have a great pitching staff but you can't bet against the Giants this year.

If they go down 3 games to none then that is just where the Giants want them!! :wink:

::rocks

See attached for where I sat, from the very first pitch by Matt Cain to the last words of the MVP speech by Marco Scutaro (Section 310, Row 6, Seat 3). Until the top of the 9th I was wearing my short-sleeved, orange GIANTS t-shirt. It wasn't cold!

But then came the 9th, and the rain. Soon enough, I was pretty soaked, despite three layers. I didn't care!


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Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:11 am

WOW, what a thrill DOC! Nice post above. It was a great series played by two terrific teams. As a Phillies fan I am glad to see Hunter Pence make it to the World Series. I think the Giants match up well with the Detroit Tigers. I generally root for the National League and I will this year as well, since the Phillies will be home watching the games like me! Are you going to be at any of the World Series games? Enjoy San Francisco. It's one of my favorite cities.

rlj

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:26 am

rlj4ep wrote:WOW, what a thrill DOC! Nice post above. It was a great series played by two terrific teams. As a Phillies fan I am glad to see Hunter Pence make it to the World Series. I think the Giants match up well with the Detroit Tigers. I generally root for the National League and I will this year as well, since the Phillies will be home watching the games like me! Are you going to be at any of the World Series games? Enjoy San Francisco. It's one of my favorite cities.

rlj

Thanks. If I may, a few more uploads from today's paper!

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Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:51 am

How great to be there!

Do you have season tickets?

Have you taken your boys to many games?

Some of my best memories are going to games with my Dad and Brother.

I've taken my Boys to games a number of time when they were younger and they had a ball.

They both are grown now so it's harder to get the time to go.

The really sad part is that the closest pro team I can them to is the CUBS!! :roll:

::rocks

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:26 am

Cubs are only three years away from a World Championship. Marty McFly foresaw it all the way back in 1985.

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:25 am

It's too bad that you didn't post any pictures of yourself at the game. smt176

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:54 pm

Mitch wrote:How great to be there!

Do you have season tickets?

Have you taken your boys to many games?

Some of my best memories are going to games with my Dad and Brother.

I've taken my Boys to games a number of time when they were younger and they had a ball.

They both are grown now so it's harder to get the time to go.

The really sad part is that the closest pro team I can them to is the CUBS!! :roll:

::rocks

No season tickets -- the game 7 ducat was an unexpected gift, purchased via StubHub.

I love the Cubbies.

My guys went to three games this year Giants, three games As. We are very lucky to live in an area with two excellent baseball teams.

I had no dad growing up -- my maternal grandfather took me to Candlestick Park back in the day, some of my happiest memories ever.

Verlander goes tonight for Detroit, should be a very tough game...

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:11 pm

Scutaro emerges intact from the hell that was the Red Sox in September, 2011. Good for him.

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:38 pm

elvisjock wrote:Scutaro emerges intact from the hell that was the Red Sox in September, 2011. Good for him.

By all accounts Marco Scutaro is well respected as a person and a top-notch, professional baseball player.

I cannot believe he hit .500 in the NLCS.

Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:39 am

The shot of Scutaro looking up to the heavens in the pouring rain (not included in the pics that I am posting here) is an absolute classic, right out of the movies!!!!! 8)
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Re: The Giants WIN The National League Pennant!!!

Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:26 am

Good luck to your Giants, DOC! I'll be watching and rooting as well. Hopefully they will not fall behind to the Tigers like they did the Reds and Cardinals. Your Giants are an exciting team who always seems to play its best when playing with "house money," so-to-speak. Good luck and Enjoy!



rlj :-D