1. Pablo Sandoval hit 3 home runs off Justin Verlander. 2. Barry Zito won a do or die game against the Cardinals. 3. Barry Zito beat Justin Verlander. 4. Cody Ross hit 2 home runs off Roy Halladay. 5. Edgar Renteria hit a world series winning 3 run homer off of Cliff Lee.
The common thread here: all of these events were totally improbable, involving bad or mediocre Giants beating great players. The Giants come to play in big games, and I know that sounds like a cliche, because who doesn’t, but if you watch the Giants, its really true. In part, its really true, because they often totally suck in games that aren’t in October. They used to be the opposite in the Bonds era; great during the season, and then totally tense in the playoffs, making errors and missing pitches they never did during the season. Now, guys like Sandoval only hit during the playoffs. And their second baseman, whether it’s Freddy Sanchez, Marco Scutaro, or Joe Panik, can’t stop hitting in October. (Are those three–all small, slap hitters–the same guy?)
One more thing. 6. Giants pitchers are huge in the playoffs. Bumgarner, who threw the shutout tonight, is 2-0 in world series games with an era of 0. I’m willing to believe that even Timmy will pitch well in this series because he has every time in previous Octobers. No Cain, but add Peavy and Hudson and a good bullpen. Bochy is the best playoff bullpen manager I’ve ever seen. He never would have left the righty in last night to face Brandon Belt.