Tim Hudson and Aaron Rowand (#16 Seeds)
Rowand did not have the career in San Francisco that many had hoped, but he did end up making the 25 man roster in the 2010 playoff run and had some key hits along the way. He also gave Bochy some important defensive insurance late in games. He wasn’t a critical part of the 2010 championship, but he played a role and that was a consistent theme of all three championship teams.
Hudson made a bigger impact in the first half of the 2014 season than the second, and ended up being more of a mentor in the clubhouse for Bumgarner and the rest of the staff, but his desire to finally reach and pitch in a World Series was a big part of that championship run. Despite not having the success he wanted, starting game 7 and the Giants winning the World Series will remain one of the greatest moments of Hudson’s baseball career.
Joe Panik and Barry Zito (#15 Seeds)
Panik was a late call up in 2014, but he solidified second base at a time when the Giants were trying everybody they could think of and some they shouldn’t have thought of. After the failed Dan Uggla experiment lasted five games, Sabean called up the young prospect. His defense and steady bat calmed the waters and led to one of the great defensive plays in World Series history.
Zito infamously was left off the 2010 playoff roster, and his positive attitude about the demotion was a huge factor in how the 2010 post season unfolded as well as subsequent championship runs. Had Zito been bitter and made public his bitterness, it could have hurt a locker room that thrived off team chemistry.
All of that changed in 2012, when Zito not only made the roster, but pitched in some of the most important games in team history. His win in the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with the team down three games to one and the entire Giants fan base rallying around him, was as big a moment as any in this era. His follow up start in Game 1 of the World Series outperforming future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander cemented Zito’s place in Giants lore.
Mike Morse and Yusmeiro Petit (#14 Seeds)
Morse had the game winning hit in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, but his single pales in comparison to his biggest moment that year. With the Giants down a run to the St. Louis Cardinals and in need of a spark, Morse came in as a pinch hitter to face one of the most devastating right handed pitchers in baseball, Pat Neshak.
His home run tied the game and sent the entire city of San Francisco into a frenzy. Nobody was happier than Morse who floated around the bases. His home run was quickly overshadowed by another home run later in that game, but no fan will forget the moment Morse tied the game.
Yusmeiro Petit is also known mostly in Giants history for one game. His came in a battle against the Washington Nationals in the 2014 National League Division Series. It was his only appearance in the series, but his six shutout innings in extras proved to be the difference.
Travis Ishikawa and Pat Burrell (#13 Seeds)
Ishikawa was the man who overshadowed Morse in that incredible showdown with the St. Louis Cardinals. The list of major league players with walk off home runs to win a championship series are short. Magglio Ordonez in the 2006 ALCS, Aaron Boone in the 2003 ALCS, and Chris Chambliss in the 1976 ALCS. That’s the list. Ishikawa became the first National League player to send his team to the World Series on a walk off home run.
Pat Burrell did most of his damage in the regular season, but his bat led a Giants offense in the second half of the season that helped the Giants reach the playoffs for the first time in seven years. For a team that clinched their playoff berth on the final day of the season, that is as big as any factor in the 2010 run. That didn’t stop Burrell from doing some damage in the post season as well, however.