They did it, baby! Sunday, October 2, the San Francisco Giants successfully clinched the last National League wild card spot with a 7-1 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the second half of their season wasn’t exactly ideal, the Giants did what they do best and rallied when it mattered. Closing the regular season with a clean, three-game sweep of the Dodgers. The 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series champions are back in the postseason—and in an even year nonetheless.
Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy made some interesting changes to the team leading up to the last three games. Arguably the most important one was his decision to let Madison Bumgarner pitch Friday’s game against the Dodgers, instead of on Sunday (or even Saturday against Clayton Kershaw).
Tell me I wasn’t the only one who thought this could’ve been a terrible idea. Anyone?-Bueller?-Bueller?? Regardless, by doing that and starting two other left-handed pitchers, Bochy was able to screw over LA and expose a huge weakness. Starting Bum on Friday also means that the 2014 World Series MVP can pitch in the wild-card game in New York against the Mets this Wednesday, October 5.
While another title would surely be the icing on the cake to a somewhat frustrating season from my perspective (*cough, Santiago Casilla, cough*), regardless of how the postseason plays out, I’m impressed with what the Giants were able to accomplish in their final three games. Are they the most solid team heading into the postseason? No. Are they better than the Dodgers? Duh, always. But it’s an even year, baby. Don’t count them out just yet. The Giants were a wild-card back in 2014, and look how that turned out. They’ll rally and crush the postseason; they usually do.