Keeping up with the Holiday’s we are going to do a San Francisco Giants themed “Twelve Days of Christmas.” This series will include everything from wishes, to reflections, historical remembrances. Enjoy!
For the seventh day of Christmas, we thought it would be special to take a trip down memory lane to seven years ago and remember the magical season of 2010 for the San Francisco Giants.
“Giants Baseball, Torture” was a signature phrase created by Mike Krukow to describe Brian Wilson’s entertaining ninth inning saves during the 2010 season. Up until that 2010 season, every Giants season had been torturous since their move to San Francisco back in 1958.
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For 52 years Giants fans had to endure the torture of not seeing their team win a World Series. It is pretty shocking that the Giants were unable to win a World Series despite all the great players they had throughout the years. Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, and Barry Bonds just to name a few. Willie Mays did win a World Series with the Giants in 1954 when they were still in New York, but for 52 years the San Francisco Giants had only made the World Series three times and they all ended in losses. It started to seem as if there would never be a championship if these Hall of Fame caliber players couldn’t get one. All they needed was some luck and finally in 2010, it came.
Having fallen behind six games with a month to play, The hitting and pitching would have to get in sync if they wanted to get real at making the playoffs. Well it took until game 162 but, when Brian Wilson threw the final pitch to Buster Posey and the Giants were back in the playoffs. Just how did they get here? Only six of the 25 players on the postseason roster had been to the playoffs before.
To beat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series, it was going to take key hitting and pitching or lucky breaks. Tim Lincecum in his first career playoff game shutout the Braves with a 14 strikeout 1-0 sutout performance. Upon losing game two Braves second baseman Brooks Conrad made a few key errors in games three and four that lead to the Giants winning in four games. It was highly possible the Giants might have lost games three and four if Conrad does not make these errors.
Escaping the first round with luck, there was no way they could have beat the Philadelphia Phillies with luck. Could they? The answer was Cody Ross. Ross got hot at the right time, and hit homerun after homerun again Roy Holladay. Juan Uribe hit the game winning and pennant clinching homerun in the eighth inning of game six to lead the Giants to the World Series.
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Would the drought finally end? Would this young team be able to bring the first championship to San Francisco? They defeated Atlanta in four games. Beat Philadelphia the reigning NL champs in six games. The luck that the they had longed for was finally on their side.
Thanks to Edgar Rentaria’s three-run homerun in the seventh inning of game 5, the Giants would beat the Texas Rangers in five games and become World Champions for the first time since the franchise moved to San Francisco. What made it more special was the players that won. 19 of the 25 players had never been to the playoffs before. In their first trip they became world champions.
The starting rotation lead by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain set up the bullpen to close out the games. The “core four” in the bullpen, Javier Lopez,Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, and Jeremy Affeldt set up the ninth inning for Brian Wilson. The rise of a superstar by the name of Buster Posey was promoted mid-season to boost a struggling lineup. Veterans such as Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Aaron Rowand, Aubrey Huff, and Freddy Sanchez all got key hits when needed. Sometimes you don’t need big names to win championships, all you need is for the team to buy into the same goal and help each other along the way.
The torture of 52 years came to an end November 1, 2010 as Bruce Bochy rose the world series trophy and Tim Lincecum jumped on teammates backs and pointed to the sky. Fans old and new were able to finally celebrate a San Francisco Giants world championship.
Stay tuned as we continue our “12 days of Christmas” editorials!