There is a prevailing sentiment that the San Francisco Giants cannot continue to experience success in the National League Championship Series, without the benefit of the big hit. Apparently, small ball has been acceptable up until this point, but now a change is in order so as to be able to compete with the St. Louis Cardinals, who obviously are capable of hitting home runs at will.
As explosive and appealing as the big fly is, or even the occasional bases-clearing double, the reality is that the Giants do not need to hit home runs in order to take the series and advance to the big show. No, San Francisco has all the components necessary to continue on with their postseason success, and win their third world championship in five years, using small ball since that’s what is working.
The Giants have proven that they can hit home runs-they banged out vast, unlimited quantities earlier in the season, but that has not been the way they have rolled for quite some time. When you think back to the 2010 season, when they were last in the majors in that statistic, home runs have never been a big priority.
Tim Hudson leads the Giants in game Three of the national League Championship Series. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Home runs are not mandatory for a victory to be recorded in the win column. A team is not docked points for failing to provide the crowd with some fireworks. Home runs are convenient for scoring runs in bunches, but many teams, including the Orange and Black, manage to circumvent this requirement on a regular basis.
The Cardinals probably will hit more home runs; they may even do so at AT&T Park. The Cards will probably win at least one-maybe two-more games also, by hitting home runs. But for the Giants to alter their basic approach, and try to do more than they have been up until this time, is a recipe for failure.
AT&T Park is not a mecca for home run hitters; rather, it beckons good pitching.
With excellent pitching, fine defense, and patience, the Giants are getting the job done.
The Giants are well-equipped in this area, and will continue to employ a three-pronged attack: stalwart pitching, clutch defense and the ability to be patient and capitalize on ninety feet at a time. Why rock the boat?
Baby steps, maybe, but when applied as standard operating procedure, they add up to Giant strides, in this case, all the way to the 2014 World Series.
Oct 1, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) reacts after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2014 National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at PNC Park. The Giants won 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports