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San Francisco Giants: Defying the odds under the radar; nothing new

By Timmy Kennedy
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In light of the elimination of the Los Angeles Angels, widely thought to have been the best team in baseball this year, baseball experts and fans posed an interesting theory: Does the postseason actually decipher who is the best team, or does the team who enters the postseason in great form stand the best chance? It is certainly feasible. Teams like the Athletics, Tigers and Angels were thought to have been the best, but entered October in poor form. All three are now eliminated. The San Francisco Giants, however, defy the odds, and under the radar, too.

The Giants, through the first few months of the season, were undeniably one of the best, if not the best team in baseball. They had the best record in all of the major leagues for a while, and were vastly thought to be unstoppable. Injuries, injuries and more injuries hindered the hot black and orange. Hindered is a massive understatement – the seemingly endless injuries sparked a Giants slide so horrible, they surrendered a seven game lead to arch-rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Not only did they surrender their once considered unassailable lead, the Dodgers managed to open up a seven game lead of their own over the Giants.  While their early season form, and consequential strong record, couldn’t prevent Los Angeles from overtaking them in the National League West standings, it did leave them in a prominent position in the wild-card chase, regardless of their painful slide.

Somehow, despite limping to the finish line, the Giants were able to make it to the finish line as a postseason team. In securing the second wild-card spot, they set up a one-game showdown the the Pittsburgh Pirates. The same Pirates who were in sensational form down the stretch. If the aforementioned theory was even remotely true, the Pirates should easily dispose of the wounded and weak Giants. The orange and black defied the odds, and behind ace Madison Bumgarner, punched their ticket to the Division Series.

Oct 7, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Santiago Casilla (right) celebrates with catcher Buster Posey (28) after defeating the Washington Nationals in game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. The Giants won the series three games to one and advance to the NLCS. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The wild-card victory set up a series against the best team in the National League; the Washington Nationals. The same Nationals who were in great form, contrary to how San Francisco stumbled into October – excluding the impressive performance against the Bucs. Once more, the above theory suggests that the Nationals should ease past the Giants into the Championship Series. Washington who have a formidable offense, and stellar rotation and bullpen, lost to the orange and black. San Francisco defied the odds once more.

What is most baffling, however, isn’t the fact that the Giants have achieved what they have, thus far. What is more stunning than the success of the Bay-Area-Bombers, is the fact this amazing feat has been done under the radar. The media, the experts and all in all the world of baseball have been oblivious to the heroics of the Giants. They have been simply unaware, or, not interested in such a brilliant rise from the bottom.

Other surprise packages like the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, and bad-Clayton Kershaw have allowed baseball to forget about the incredible turn around by the Giants. In all honesty, San Francisco are right where they want to be: Underdogs. If there’s one thing the orange and black despise, other than the Dodgers, it’s expectation. As all even years in this decade have proved, they thrive when everyone expects when them to fail. This season will be no different, fact.

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