Brian Tan | Now Serving
Together we're Giant
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 08:11
How can you not get romantic about baseball? There were comebacks. There was the grand slam. There were electric pregame speeches. There was pitching. There was hitting — surprisingly. There was another bearded closer. There was the NLCS Game 7 ending in absolute pouring rain. There was the three-homer game from a Panda. And even though we are two years removed from it, yes, there was some torture too.
How fitting it was that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in extra innings. They came back from down 2-0 and 3-1 against Cincinnati and St. Louis, respectively. Then they swept a Tigers team that had just come off a straight up domination of the New York Yankees. Somehow, some way — maybe it was the playoff air in San Francisco or just the smell of AT&T Park garlic fries — the Giants overcame every single obstacle thrown their way. Is it considered fitting at all that closer/slider specialist Sergio Romo struck out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera looking on a fastball down the middle, on the last pitch of the World Series?
Marco Scutaro, who played for the last place Colorado Rockies for most of the season while struggling at the plate, turned out to be the biggest midseason addition to any team this year. General Manager Brian Sabean usually loves his mediocre, veteran middle infielders, but he certainly struck gold with Scutaro, who was the NLCS MVP, and drove in the World Series winning run. The indelible image of him celebrating before the final out of the NLCS Game 7 will not be forgotten in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the World Series MVP, Pablo Sandoval, affectionately called “Kung Fu Panda,” was benched in 2010 for struggling on offense and defense. While every baseball analyst in the country counted the Giants out against pitching machine Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series, Sandoval put on a show for the ages by going yard three times — twice against the Tiger ace. And just think, the Giants were probably a Scott Rolen error away from getting swept by the Reds in the Division series.
Someone on Twitter wrote, “Imagine you went into a coma in March, woke up today and saw Tim Lincecum warming up to relieve Barry Zito in Game 1 of the World Series.”
As a former two-time Cy Young winner who won the World Series clincher in 2010, Lincecum suffered his worst year by far as a starter and was demoted to bullpen duty. Yet as a reliever, Lincecum pitched like the Timmy of old and was dominant, to say the least. As for Zito, don’t even get me started. After not making the 2010 postseason roster, years of struggle and a $126 million contract later, Zito went out against St. Louis with the Giants down 3-1 in the series and pitched the game of his life by shutting out the Cardinals for almost eight innings. A former Cy Young award winner himself with the Oakland A’s over on the other side of the Bay Bridge, Zito, of all people, is ironically the Giants’ savior of the postseason. The team did not lose any of those games in which he pitched.
The Giants won their second World Series in the last three years, but they weren’t even the most talented team in baseball. By truly exemplifying the ideals of teamwork and clutch hitting, the Giants proved themselves to be the best at winning games. It pains me to say it now, but we will have to wait all the way until April to see the San Francisco Giants go at it again. But until then, go Giants.
Brian Tan is a sophomore who is majoring in economics and Chinese. He can be reached at Brian.Tan@tufts.edu.