Giants Clinch National League Pennant

School of Dentistry

Never would any Giants fan imagine facing elimination in the playoffs, needing Barry Zito to pitch the game of his life. He did just that, leaving Giants fans roaring as San Francisco avoided elimination once again in Game Five of this year’s National League Championship Series playoffs.

Ryan Vogelsong came prepared to stare elimination in the eyes again in Game Six, pitching arguably the best game of his career.

Game Seven on Monday, however, meant the same to both teams — advance to the World Series or go home. Matt Cain was noticeably reaching back further and further as he struck out four St. Louis Cardinal batters through five and a third innings, leaving them in awe as they returned to their dugout, never imagining that their postseason would end this way.

The bats came alive Monday night, including that of Matt Cain’s. In the bottom of the third the Giants went through the entire batting lineup — an entire cycle — scoring five runs before a single out was made, making it 7-0.

In this championship series, it wasn’t the usual suspects but rather the rookies and late season pickups that delivered game after game with run-scoring hits that could be heard from any part of San Francisco.

The game ended in a setting so perfect for fall baseball in San Francisco, as the rain pounded the infield dirt and the Giants waited anxiously as closer Sergio Romo threw every pitch. Marco Scutaro, Giant’s second basemen, looked up into the cold rainy sky opening his mouth collecting the rain drop by drop.

No moment may be more memorable than the 0-2 pitch Matt Cain hurled at Matt Holliday’s arm. For those that don’t remember, it was Holliday who slid recklessly into Scutaro in Game Two of this series. Was it retaliation and sticking up for a teammate or simply loss of command? Either way, it added insult to injury with an 8-0 lead, showing how close knit this 2012 Giants team really is.

Advancing to their second World Series in three years does not begin to describe the journey this team has taken, but it does show the outcome of how a team deals with adversity. In order to get here the Giants outperformed both the Cincinnati Reds and Cardinals in long, drawn-out series, winning games away from home in tough ballparks. Both teams they faced in this post season were top-echelon ball clubs built to score runs and throw hard. After six games where they faced elimination, the Giants closed it out with a 9-0 shutout Monday night advancing to the 2012 World Series.