Today’s very unexpected, some would just say lucky, performance by Ty Blach, an uninspiring, unhyped, and largely unsuccessful rookie who had never won a major league game before beating Clayton Kershaw in one of the most important games of the year, is just the latest in crazy moments in Giants playoff success during this decade. It made me try and think of the craziest….
Clutch play from a clutch, but otherwise inconsistent, player:
Juan Uribe (2010): At least two big homers, one to beat the Phillies and one to beat the Rangers. Not totally crazy, but not expected.
Pablo Sandoval (2012): As the Red Sox have found out, this guy is only good in the playoffs. And he hit three(!) homers off Justin Verlander in Game One of the World Series.
Edgar Renteria (2010): A guy with a history of big game performances, but a total suck for the Giants at the end of his career, and who had long lost his starting job, hits series winner off of Cliff Lee.
Brandon Crawford (2014): Grand slam to break a tie in the wild card game against the Pirates.
Hot for basically the only time in his life:
Cody Ross (2010): A journey-man outfielder, he hits two homers off Roy Halladay in Game One against the Phillies. Hadn’t Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his previous start?
Juan Perez (2014): I don’t remember the details, just that a guy who has played no significant role in major league baseball, had both big hits and defensive plays throughout the playoffs.
Yusmeiro Petit (2014): Six plus no-hit innings against the Nationals in relief.
Travis Ishikawa (2014): Absolutely mind-boggling improbable. Barely ever played before the playoffs, then gets thrown in left field (which he can’t play), then hits the homer that wins the Giants the pennant.
Hunter Pence’s huge single that hit his shattered bat three times and drove in 3 runs.
Only in SF’s land of hallucinogenic drugs:
Barry Zito (2012): Game 5 of the NL playoffs, down 3 games to 1 against the Cardinals, in St. Louis, and the long downtrodden and unsuccessful Zito pitched the game of his SF Giants life, making everyone forgive the more than hundred million dollars of wasted money the Giants paid him. He beat Verlander in the WS, too.