By Claire Reclosado-Baclay
If there were doubts before, and there definitely were, those doubts should be put to rest. By winning their second World Series Championship in three years, the San Francisco Giants told the world it’s time to take notice of the guys in orange and black.
A strong statement was made through the Giants’ four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers to win the 108th World Series. The statement was made and people are now listening.
Bred by San Francisco’s pitching and defense, a dynasty was born the moment Giants closer Sergio Romo fired a fastball that Tigers’ Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera watched for a called strike three.
2012 is not the last you’ll see of this team in the postseason. With the foundation of the team staying put, so is the Giants’ presence in October.
The Giants started off shaky in the playoffs, but the moment the starting pitching got into their groove it was almost impossible to stop the momentum.
Barry Zito, labeled by broadcaster Mike Krukow as the “soul of the team,” lit the fire when he led the Giants to a victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. His outing was so strong that it earned him the opportunity to start Game 1 of the World Series.
Fellow postseason starters Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain continued to keep the opposition in check with stellar outings of their own. After given some time to work on his mechanics, Madison Bumgarner was given a chance to redeem himself in Game 2 and he did not disappoint. Tim Lincecum was sent to the bullpen as the team’s “secret weapon” where he flourished in the 13 innings he pitched in relief.
With every one of those starters coming back next season, the possibility of seeing this team remain in contention is high.
We saw how pitching wins games. With those five returning, it’s not hard to picture them leading their team all the way to another postseason berth.
But they aren’t the only key players returning.
The young Brandons, Belt and Crawford, will be back with their dazzling defense that also contributed to the team’s World Series win. Animated closer Romo will also be back, as will World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and team hype-man Hunter Pence.
Further strengthening the possibility of another Giant October is one of the most important elements of the team—catch Buster Posey. As the team’s calm and collected leader, the possible NL MVP is often times credited for throwing down the right signs that kept pitchers unhittable.
His importance was felt after he was seriously injured early in the 2011 season. Without their star catcher, there was a void that the team was unable to fill and they missed the postseason. Once Posey returned in 2012, they team returned to the postseason and added another World Series Championship to the franchise.
Of those who made an impact this season, three big free agent names come up: NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, relief pitcher Jeremy Affleldt, and outfielder Angel Pagan.
All three made their marks on the team and it would be fair to say that the Championship may not have been won without them. Will they return? That is yet to be determined, but with such a large group returning, the likelihood of a bright 2013 is not a far-fetched idea.
It really happened. The team that looked like they would be making an early exit actually stayed around to win the World Series with authority. So as the players make to Civic Center Plaza on Wednesday during the celebratory parade, fans will commemorate the feat with their team. With so many familiar faces returning next season, it would not be a surprise if they will be treated to another parade down the San Francisco streets the same time next year.
Claire Reclosado-Baclay is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco Giants. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.