San Francisco Giants Madness Is Back with a World Series Twist
Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford (#4 Seeds)
Belt may be a polarizing figure in the Giants fan base, but there was no denying his biggest moment as a Giant. In the 18th inning, in a game that was saved by Petit’s brilliance, Belt stepped up to the plate, facing Tanner Roark and blasted a home run that included a bat drop for the ages. Belt became a big part of both the 2012 and 2014 World Series runs, with both his glove and his bat.
Crawford shined with the glove from the moment he joined the Giants, but his bat had a big moment as well. During the 2014 run, it began with a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in a one game playoff. His grand slam broke open a scoreless tie and gave Bumgarner all the run support he would need.
Both Brandon’s became big parts of the Giants infield and lineup.
Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum (#3 Seeds)
Pence meant more to this team than just about anyone from the moment he arrived in 2012. His leadership was unquestioned and his ability to inspire his teammates have become one of the things all Giants fans will tell their grandchildren about this team.
His speech in Cincinnati to rally the troops for one more day reminded all Giants fans just how important Pence was to all 25 men on the roster.
It wouldn’t be his last speech and Giants fans wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Lincecum was a lightning bolt that became such a signature part of the dominant pitching staff in 2010 and then seemed to struggle to find his place beyond that in 2012 and 2014. While he didn’t have the impact during those other runs, he was the most important part of the 2010 team. His sheer dominance announced to the world that no matter what you called their lineup or what experience you thought their pitching staff lacked, the Giant had a rock star headlining their squad.
His 14 strikeout complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 was a shout from the rooftops that these Giants were ready to take on all challengers. His final performance in Game 5 of the World Series cemented the two time Cy Young winner as the best pitcher in the world at that moment.
Pablo Sandoval and Matt Cain (#2 Seeds)
Sandoval will never be forgotten in baseball history for what he did in 2012. His three home runs in Game 1 against Verlander and the Tigers will be the lasting legacy of the Panda in the minds of baseball fans everywhere.
From losing playing time to Uribe in 2010, to becoming a hitting machine in 2014, the ups and downs of Sandoval and the Giants might be just as legendary with Giants fans.
Cain was always overshadowed during his career. Whether it was by the presence of Barry Bonds as a rookie, or Lincecum and Bumgarner feeling larger than life when they were at their best, Cain always was more in the background.
In 2012, that seemed to finally go away, as Cain started the All-Star game, pitched a perfect game, started every clinching game of the playoff run and finally established himself once and for all as the ace of the staff.
Cain had what felt like two careers, from the first seven years that had him destined for the Hall of Fame, to the injury riddled seasons that followed.
Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner (#1 Seeds)
The biggest link to the three championships is the greatest battery in team history. Their connection to the World Series titles will be forever linked. No moment captures the end of the five year run better than the embrace and final “Buster Hug” between Posey and Bumgarner at the end of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
Posey anchored the pitching staff and hit in the middle of the lineup for every playoff game of the era and Bumgarner went from a 20 year old rookie pitching eight shutout innings in Game 4 of the World Series in 2010, to having the most dominant October run in the last 50 years in 2014.