Giants win the pennant!!!
Is there a more improbable World Series team in recent memory?
What a performance by the pen. 6-plus innings of no run ball, after Sanchez spit the bit. Really, just a simply unbelievable performance by the pitching staff since the beginning of September.
As for the team management, and in-game coaching, I am eating every bit of crow there is in my house. While accepting the NL trophy, Sabean looked and sounded humble and classy, as did Baer, Bochy, Neukom, and NLCS MVP Ross. (Sidebar: The NLCS MVP was probably Wilson, 3 saves and a win in as close a series as you are ever gonna see).
What is there left to say tonight? Did I doubt this team? You bet. Did I doubt Bochy? Absolutely. Did I question the signings, the trades and the free agent pick ups by Sabean. As often as I had the time to do so.
What am I supposed to say here?
On many counts, I have been proven wrong.
The Cody Ross pickup, which was clearly __and understood at the time to be– a blocking claim, worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you say? The Aubrey Huff signing? Anyone who predicted this kind of season from Huff –especially his defense– send me the link –the dated link– and I’ll make you a star. Freddie Sanchez? He sure came on late. I was wrong on him, no doubt. Bochy made enough mistakes in these playoffs to last a lifetime. In the post-season, it always comes down to pitching. In the end, at least so far in the NL, the Giants had more of it then everybody.
Ask Joe Girardi, the manager of the defending champion NY Yankees:
…. Girardi did not throw a pitch or swing a bat. His job was to put players in the best position to succeed. One of his greatest strengths is his preparation, and his choice to flip Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes in the rotation, based on several relevant factors, seemed to make sense. Hughes went 0-2 with an 11.42 E.R.A. at Rangers Ballpark, and Pettitte, though he pitched well, worked only once, held back Friday in advance of a potential Game 7 start.
Once he makes a decision, Girardi says, he never second-guesses himself. He trusts his instincts — or the numbers — and accepts the outcome, for better or worse. By not bringing in Rivera to pitch the ninth inning of Game 3, with the Yankees trailing by two runs, Girardi left himself open to criticism when Texas hammered three other relievers for six runs. It put the Yankees at a 2-1 series deficit with Burnett scheduled to pitch a crucial Game 4.
Bochy swapped his pitchers, and it didn’t work, actually. Sanchez came in on a rush, cruising in his previous 80 or so innings. He failed to record a win against Philadelphia. He went 8 innings in the series, allowing 8 hits, 5 walks, 5 runs (4 earned), and failed to get out of the third inning in tonight’s penultimate game. He posted a 4.50 ERA in the series, and if it weren’t for the outrageous performance by every pitcher Bochy called upon, would have likely been the goat of the NLCS.
Instead, he was saved by his teammates. OK. Johnny like that.
Bochy used Wilson in an unusual fashion, and it worked some of the time, and it didn’t other times. He pinch hit, pinch ran, made double switches, moved his outfielders around….
Some of his moves worked, and some didn’t.
The Giants are in the World Series because of their otherwordly pitching staff. Simple as that.
Ask Joe Girardi what he would’ve given to have Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner as his two worst starters.