Last night, Tim Hudson took to the mound in the division series. In an ace-off, a pitchers-duel, Hudson managed to come through the victor, giving his team a two-to-nothing series advantage.If this sounds familiar to you, it should. Hudson has pitched in the exact same spot, and the history wasn’t good.
The San Francisco Giants are a team of history. This postseason, just like the others, they have been breaking record, after record, after record. For a team steeped in history, sometimes, it’s difficult to not dwell on the history, good or bad. So – that begs the question, can the San Francisco Giants win the World Series? Well, the history conflicts.
Hudson led the Oakland Athletics, in a pitchers duel with the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte, to a two-to-nothing lead in the 2001 American League Division Series. Last night, Hudson led the Giants, in the second game of the Division Series, to a two-nothing series lead.
In this case, the history is bad for the Giants. Somehow, the A’s, managed to blow the two game advantage, and the New York Yankees beat them in five. The Giants will hope events don’t unfold in the same way – they will be handing the ball to Madison Bumgarner to ensure it doesn’t. It is hard not to be confident with the southpaw on the mound.
Why? The history. In 2010, Bumgarner become the youngest pitcher in franchise history to pitch in, and win a postseason game. The game was the clincher, against the Atlanta Braves, in the Division Series. This time, the history bodes well for the Giants. In turn, in the World Series, he pitched eight shutout frames, becoming the fourth youngest pitcher to win a World Series game, and in doing so, led the Giants to a World Series. Their first in 56 years.
Things have been sweet since then. Another, Bumgarner driven, World Series victory in 2012, followed by a disappointing season in 2013, set up another piece of inevitability. Another piece of history Giants fans can bank upon. The Giants win the World Series in even years, fact. This year? An even year. History goes to the Giants.
In both, even year, successes, a player has stepped up from no-where. This season is no different. Following the trend of guys like Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff, Cody Ross and Marco Scutaro, Joe Panik is the latest hitter to come from no-where, and launch himself into stardom through the postseason.
Panik became the first ever Giants player to record five hits, in his first two postseason games. Just like the history suggested, they have once more received help from an unlikely source. A source that could very well fuel a World Series victory for the Bay-Bombers.
So – to return to the original theory; does the history suggest that the San Francisco Giants can win the World Series? Well, it conflicts. It might, it might not. Overall, the history is good, after all, Hudson and his team’s failure has nothing to do with the record breaking Giants. It being an even year, having Panik step-up and handing the ball to Bumgarner to clinch, do.