The San Francisco Giants were not supposed to do this. They were not supposed to sweep the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Divisional Series after falling behind two games to none in a five game playoff. They were not supposed to come back from a three games to one deficit to beat the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. The Giants are supposed to be sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away.
But here they are headed to the 2012 World Series as winners of the NL pennant. No one outside of San Francisco could have seen this coming. Then again, this is sports and stranger things have happened. Cardinals fans of two past generations know this after seeing their team blow three games to one leads to lose the World Series in 1968 and 1985.
For most of 2012, the Giants were an afterthought. All of the talk surrounding the NL was about the young Reds and Washington Nationals. Cincinnati and Washington got hot in mid season and easily finished with the two best records in baseball. While they were winning their divisions, San Francisco quietly went about winning the NL West.
While the Giants were doing this they were being overshadowed by their bitter rivals in Southern California. The Los Angeles Dodgers started 2012 hot and were the odds on favorite to win the West. When injuries hit Los Angeles they made a blockbuster trade in August with the Boston Red Sox. Los Angeles acquired pitcher Josh Beckett, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford from the Red Sox. This did nothing to slow San Francisco down.
The Giants won their division by eight games over Los Angeles. San Francisco won 94 games which were only four less than the league leading Nationals. This earned them the third seed in the playoffs.
It was believed by many that the Giants were not going to get beat the Reds. When they fell behind two games to none at home San Francisco was all but counted out. There was no way that they were going to win three games in Cincinnati. The Giants fooled us all with a clean sweep in Cincinnati.
After seeing that act why would anyone be surprised at what happened in the NLCS? After falling behind St. Louis, San Francisco had to win three straight again. This time it would have to be done against the defending world champions.
For the Giants it was a piece of cake. They not only beat the Cardinals, but dominated every game. As rain fell in the top of the ninth of game seven, San Francisco fans and players bathed in the glow of an NL pennant.
Instead of sitting on the dock of the bay, the San Francisco Giants are headed to the World Series.