It’s been a long, hard season.
If this season was a candy bar, it would be dark chocolate with a creamy torturous filling. And peanuts, it would have peanuts for some reason. In handing the Padres a 3-0 defeat today, the Giants are your official 2010 champs on the National League West. It wasn’t always pretty but the Giants made it. This might be the most genuinely likable Giants’ team I’ve seen in awhile. Winning creates likability but there are some really great story lines — the pitching, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, etc. — on this team.
Watching today’s game reminded me of what playoff baseball felt like. Today’s game was a healthy mix of panic and joy. Panic when the Padres were threatening or any time Scott Hairston took an at-bat. Joy was watching Jonathan Sanchez wallop a triple to start a rally. At that moment, the Padres should have known that fate was against them. I’m pretty sure that Sanchez swings in the same spot every AB, regardless of where the pitch is. Matt Latos and his terrible non-bent hat apparently did not know about this.
I also came to the conclusion that we are really, really lucky to have Buster Posey. His home run in the 8th gave the Giants some breathing room and watching him leap into the air as Brian Wilson struck out the last hitter to end the game feels like one of those iconic Giants images that we’ll be seeing for years to come. In my opinion, you can nestle it right between Rod Beck’s exuberance in ’97 when the Giants clinched the pennant and Brian Johnson’s HR celebration from that same year.
Tough loss for the Padres and a hard way to end the year. For most of the year the Padres had the Giants’ number, but going 14-17 in the month of September would put the brakes on anyone’s playoff bid. Back at the beginning of July during a tough stretch for the Giants, I wrote the following:
To get to 90 wins, the Giants need to play at a winning percentage of .602 for their remaining games — that seems like a very steep order to me.
The Giants ended up going 52-31 for a .626 winning percentage. I’m glad I was wrong on that one. Very glad, indeed.