Tonight, the Giants defeated the reigning NL champions 3-2 to advance to the World Series for the first time since 2002. This was, in large part, a template game for the San Francisco Giants: too many runners left on base, solid bullpen support, a “thrilling” Brian Wilson save in the 9th, a win by one run, and butt loads of torture. Holy cow.
Let me try and compose myself with a few quick thoughts before my brain liquefies.
- I’m still convinced that the Giants paid too much for Javier Lopez, but man, what a NLCS he had. Lopez threw yet another scoreless frame in tonight’s game — neutralizing Philly’s tough left-handed batters — and he’s been rock solid in the postseason. Check out Lopez’s WPA scores in the playoffs (NLDS included): .019, .096, .114, .038, -.059, .048, .091. All positive scores minus the one blip in Game Four. He has been terrific.
- Sanchez had a short start tonight (2 IP) but the bullpen really earned their stripes. The ‘pen combined for 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. If you would have told me that the Giants would win a game in which Sanchez only lasted 2 innings, I wouldn’t have believed you.
- Juan Uribe is a beautiful man that hits opposite field home runs. Uribe hasn’t had a great playoff showing, but he’s got the chance to run into one every now and then. When he flashed his Jazz Hands in the 8th inning, I knew something good was about to happen. Uribe’s .298 WPA is best among position players in tonight’s game.
- Using Lincecum as a reliever in the 8th didn’t work out great, but I liked the move. It’s an aggressive move that I think has to be made in a Game Six scenario when your team is up by one run in late innings on the road. I’d much rather run Lincecum out there than anyone else in the bullpen not named Brian Wilson.
- If the Lincecum-Halladay match-up had you excited, how does the Lincecum-Lee match-up sound on Wednesday in Game One of the World Series?
- Also, a fact of note: Since 2000, there have been 36 games in which a Giants’ starter lasted 2 IP or less. The Giants record in those games is 10-26 which equates to a winning percentage of .270. Tonight the Giants clinched the NLCS in a game in which their starter only lasted 2 IP. Jonathan Sanchez appears twice on our list of 36 starters since 2000 that have only lasted 2 IP or less in a game started.
Amazing game tonight. It’s been an amazing year for Giants’ baseball.