Nearly two years ago to the day I wrote the first Nirvana piece. That piece started out… “In the grand scheme of things a championship in sports means nothing, and the life of one person is also rendered insignificant when placed in the context of the world. But I gotta tell you, in this corner of the sphere that we all inhabit, there have been few things that can rival what has occurred over the last 24 hours.” And it happened, again…
For the second time in three years the San Francisco Giants were triumphant in the World Series. For a team that moved to California in 1958, legions of Bay Area fans lived through the decades of defeat. Now, they have been able to bask in the glow of greatness twice in three years. Words escape me to describe what it feels like to witness the triumph yet again. OK, maybe they don’t (you know me so well). Here are some interesting factoids from their run of excellence.
The Giants won their 7th championship, and for those that think Giants fans are used to winning remember that the team has been in existence for 130 years.
The Giants became the first NL team to win two championships in three years since the Big Red Machine won in back-to-back years in 1975-76. In fact, they are only the 5th NL team, ever, to do it (Cubs 1907-08, NY Giants 1921-22, Cardinals ’44 and ’46, Dodgers ’63 and ’65).
The Giants are the 5th team in history to win the World Series after finishing last in baseball in homers.
The Giants led the Tigers for 56-straight innings before Miguel Cabrera’s HR in the 3rd inning of Game 4. It was the second longest streak in post-season history.
Over the last seven games of the playoffs the Giants team ERA was 0.98. The starters ERA was much higher… 0.99.
Giants relievers pitched 11.2 innings in the World Series allowing two hits, two runs and striking out 17.
Tim Lincecum threw five games out of the bullpen in the playoffs and over those 13 innings he posted a 0.69 ERA while striking out 17 batters.
Buster Posey hit only .200 in the playoffs, but in the three series clinching games Posey drove in six runs while hitting two homers.
Pablo Sandoval won the World Series MVP Award as he hit .500 with three homers. Only three other men have reached both of those totals in a World Series – Babe Ruth (1928), Lou Gehrig (1928, 1932) and Hideki Matsui (2009). He still needs to lose about 45 lbs, but there is no disputing that the man can hit.
Marco Scutaro, nicknamed “The Blockbuster” by his teammates (cause he was the blockbuster addition of the trade deadline), had about as impressive four month run you will ever see from a non-elite player. Scutaro hit .362 with the Giants over 61 games and tied Derek Jeter for the major league lead with 88 hits in that time. Scutaro then went on to hit .500 in the Giants 7-game victory over the Cardinals in the NLCS, and over his last 11 playoff games he had at least two hits eight times. Fittingly it was his hit in the 10th inning that led to the Giants’ World Series victory.
By Ray Flowers