World Series Momentum Meter: The San Francisco Giants Are The Greatest TEAM in SportsBaseball, The Cheap Seats — By Matt Whitener on October 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm
And in the end, the game’s most undeniable team in recent baseball history was paired against the hitter with the best season in over forty summers, Miguel Cabrera, with it all on the line. And the game’s greatest weapon couldn’t even shoot.
Could there possibly be a more improbably fitting end to a season that what the San Francisco Giants did last night? In a year that was defined by the run and inspired its postseason to be measured by the Momentum Meter we’ve tracked over the last month here, it was one that came to a screeching halt in every way possible.
The new World Series Champions earned that title by facing the Grim Reaper in ways that no team ever had before. The Giants played a total of seven elimination games in one postseason, going undefeated in all of them. Across the road of amassing this incredible, odds-defying run, they didn’t just have a string of favorable situations. In order to climb to the top of the baseball mountain, they had to comeback from a 2-0 series deficit to beat a 97-win Cincinnati Reds team three consecutive times on the road. They then fell into a 3-1 hole against the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals…only to once again run off three consecutive wins to move on.
But how does a run this exhausting, where every inning of every game make the complete difference for a season, possibly go up another notch? The finale was their greatest work, and it showcased just how sneaky dominant this team really was. The World Series had three distinct phases: the “how many times will they beat somebody besides Verlander” stage, then the “will the Tigers ever score” period, followed conclusively by the “this is just destiny” stage.
San Francisco systematically took out the Tigers greatest advantage in both the dominance of Verlander on the mound and the mental mismatch it can create. It only took Pablo Sandoval and company four innings to take that out of play. After that, they shut down the Tigers offense for the next 18 innings, and killed any possible rebound momentum that could come into play. Then on Sunday night, after a Posey-Fielder home run swap in the middle innings, once again the undeniable Marco Scutaro gets a timely hit and scores a timeless second World Series in three years for the Giants.
The story of the Giants is one of the total sums being greater than one part, much as it was in 2010 during their previous title reign. Trade in Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff’s unlikely heroics for Scutaro and Barry Zito’s. Tim Lincecum moves from being ace starter to shutdown middle relief threat. Sergio Romo becomes Brian Wilson, who is perhaps the best player to go missing, but have his absence unnoticed throughout the season.
The bottom line is that the very spirit of momentum is the moment repeating the moment. At any point, no matter who they faced this October, spirit of the moment was never out of reach for anybody wearing the Giants’ uniform. No matter the job that had to be done, they were in the right position to get it done, no matter what “it” may be. And in the end, all the stood between them and their title was one of the most accomplished individual players in the game…
And even that was light work after all the pushing and shoving of unmovable objects they’d had in front of them. That’s the very spirit of October baseball, where momentum rules.