FanPost

The Giants Clinch the Playoffs


The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

On the eve of spring training, we eagerly read newspaper articles, sports blogs, and our friends' text messages. 162-0, we said with cracked smiles and eyes nervously peeking at the calendar. 70-92, said the emotionless preseason analytics. Downwards-projected veterans with highly-ranked prospects still a few years away. The best case scenario was finishing a distant third to a stacked San Diego and a Dodgers team that might just be the best in the history of the game Teams don't come back from 1-in-500 odds. Check back in two or three years, they said.

The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

When the calendar rolled over to June, Giants fans breathed a sigh of relief. They were 5-4 against the Padres and 4-4 against the vaunted Dodgers. They'd passed their first test, never mind the fact they'd nearly blown a 4-run lead and only managed to scrape by because a guy since DFA'd made a leaping catch to rob a home run. Never mind the fact the bullpen had blown a 5-run lead to kick off the season. The Giants were half a game above San Diego for a lead in the NL West, too! But enjoy your mirage, San Francisco fans, said Jim Bowden. Third place will be your final destination.

The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

The June Swoon failed to materialize, and the dog days came and went. July offered a crushing dose of reality- the Giants worst month of the year. They'd gone .643 the previous month, and it really was too good to be true. The Giants came crashing down... to a .600 record in July. They went into the All-Star Break with the best record in baseball. They went into August with the best record in baseball. Something was wrong. Something deep in the code of baseball was broken. The Giants weren't supposed to be this good.

The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

The Dodgers had swept the Giants at home, and when they came knocking for round 2, the Giants handled them at home. Then they handled them at the Dodgers' home. No gaining distance for you. The Giants did what they do and won series against the first-place Mets and a tough A's team. Then they faced a 16 game stretch without a day off against the Mets again, the for-real Braves, the dominant Brewers, those same Dodgers, and a Rockies team fighting for the best home record in baseball, at Coors. That kind of stretch ends teams' seasons. The Giants went 10-6. When you're the best, you don't play other teams. Other teams play you.

The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

On September 13, the Giants knocked 8 hits and scored 9 runs. This was possible because four of those hits left the park. As a result, the Giants set a franchise record for most games with 4+ home runs, at 14. They may be able to break the franchise record for team home runs in a season, and they're doing it without a man who can hit 70 home runs for them in a season. Or 50. Or 40. And very probably even 30. No leading Cy Young, MVP, or Triple Crown candidate. Just a team with very, very few holes, and a lot of bang for their buck. Just a team that clinched a playoff spot earlier than any other team in franchise history, in the era of the double Wild Card. Just a team with 18 left to play that's making 115 wins look a lot more likely than 100.

The Giants are dead. Long live the Giants.

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