It only took the San Francisco Giants four games to solidify themselves as the team of destiny. In the 4-0 2012 World Series win over the Detroit Tigers, the Giants were clearly not intimidated by the moment.
But the Giants made their playoff living by beating the odds and overcoming outrageous deficits in order to prevail. The final game, a 4-3 extra inning triumph at Comerica Park, was a fitting end to an improbable run. When the World Series began, it was difficult to pick the Giants to win due to the fact that the best pitcher in baseball in Justin Verlander was going to get a crack at a lineup without their best player.
But how could anyone have picked against these Giants given their recent history?
They invoke memories of the 2002 Anaheim Angels, but with more pop and probably slightly better pitching. But like those Angels, they hung their hats on being the underdog and beating the odds. Pablo Sandoval got everything started with his incredible three-home-run performance in Game 1. They didn’t even need a stellar effort from the best player that suited up on the roster in Buster Posey.
Next, it was the pitching performances of Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong that gave the Giants life. Zito beating Verlander? You almost get the feeling that it was a movie script playing out in real life, a tale of the underdog that seemed so unreal that it came true. Zito was on the proverbial scrap heap in the minds of the Giants’ faithful, and to have a World Series performance like he did was perfect.
But then again, the Giants were for real, and they came in knowing they could play with anyone, no matter what the circumstances. It was all but a formality when Matt Cain sealed the deal with a victory. With their second World Series win in three years, there’s no telling where they go from here.
In any case, they’ll enjoy this one all winter long.