Thursday, October 11, 2012

'Pelea' Embodied

The Giants have been collecting rallying cries over the past 3 games and none more pertinent or fitting for today than 'Pelea' or 'Fight' in Spanish.

The Giants after having lost both their only home games to start this series faced the task of beating a very tough Reds team in Cincinnati three times in a row to save their season.

But what the Giants knew was that it only happens if you win Game 3 first.

Hunter Pence, whom we only got at the trade deadline and is relatively new to the clubhouse showed why he has quickly become a leader of this team when facing the 0-2 deficit.  After a speech by Bruce Bochy, he gathered his teammates.

“get in here, everyone get in here..look into each other! look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you, it’s the most fun, the best team I have ever been on … and no matter what happens we must not give in, we owe it to each other, play for each other, I need one more day with you guys, I need to see what Theriot will wear tomorrow, I want to play defense behind Vogelsong because he’s never been to the for each other not yourself, win each moment, win each inning, it’s all we have left.”

There are no great speeches in baseball, they're reserved for football fields or basketball courts, but Hunter Pence got these guys ready, ready to hunt down a win and win they did.  I mean he got them pumped up to see what Theriot was wearing the next day!  After a very ugly 2-1 win to force a game 4, the Giants' bats came alive in Game 4 and won in convincing fashion 8-3 with a Panda homer that made it's way into orbit.

That brought us to today.

Matt Cain, the horse going against Mat Latos, the most hated man in San Francisco.

Latos has had excellent numbers against the Giants and showed it by shutting them down in a Game 1 that was supposed to be Johnny Cueto's.

The guys with the best numbers on Latos were Crawford and Belt who both had 3 for 9 histories against Latos.  On the flip side, Jay Bruce had been 7 for 8 against Matt Cain this year coming into the game.

The Giants were not supposed to even be here let alone win this game.  Apparently they had other plans...

I said before the playoffs began, that I didn't feel the magic this season.  This team did not have the shut down bullpen from 2010, they didn't have the power up and down the lineup from 2010 and they did not have the veteran presence that was around for 2010.

What I failed to see was that this is not the 2010 Giants nor do they aspire to be.  This is a completely different animal, the 2012 Giants.

The 2012 Giants are not going to overpower you.  They do not have starting pitchers who have been pitching lights out in September.  The 2012 Tim Lincecum is a long reliever, not a playoff ace.

The 2012 Giants have not won a World Series Ring either, but that doesn't stop them from doing the improbable.

The 2012 Giants don't quit, they go down 0-2 in a 5 game series and they fight.  The 2012 Giants don't just put their foot in the door when they see an opportuniy, they kick the door in.  The 2012 Giants get pep talks from the "Reverend" Hunter Pence, they lean on the likely 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey a year after one of the most horrific injuries suffered in the majors, they get huge hits from former no-namers Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias, they get outstanding bullpen performances from Tim Lincecum.

The 2012 Giants keep fighting because they want to see each other the next day, because they want to continue to play this game they love with each other and because they want to see what Ryan Theriot will wear the next day.  If you were like me and did not believe that this team has what it takes to make another World Series run, then I hope you're a believer now.

As Tim Flannery said in response to Hunter Pence's speech, "Honor the game, the game honors you."

And the Giants are doing just that.

Laws of the Day

Giants as you've heard are the first NL team to come back from 0-2 to win a divisional series since the introduction of the wild card.

Because of the one time format, the Giants are the ONLY team in history who have come back down 2 and won 3 games on the road.

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