The San Francisco Giants are at it again
The rest of the MLB playoff landscape are going to hate the Los Angeles Dodgers this October. Not because of any possible damage they cause in an attempt to win the World Series, but for letting the San Francisco Giants get into the postseason in the first place.
The Giants clinched the second Wild Card spot by sweeping the Dodgers, who were already set with the National League West title and were just saving themselves for the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. One sliver of effort to dispose of their rivals and everyone would’ve been spared of the looming threat.
The Giants are going into the playoffs the same way they’ve always had since 2010: Three, sometimes four real solid starting pitchers led by one really good starter and an offensive lineup that is not really good but will have someone become the hero.
It was Cody Ross in 2010, Marco Scutero in 2012 and Travis Ishikawa in 2014.
This time around the hero was third baseman Conor Gillaspie. As Madison Bumgarner was battling throughout the National League Wild Card game against Noah Syndegaard and the New York Mets in what basically amounted to a high stakes staring contest, Gillaspie broke the tie with a three-run home run to send the Giants to the NLDS.
Gillaspie, a career .256 hitter, is the kind of player that inspired the very concept of the WAR stat. It might as well be called “Wins Above Gillaspie.” But there you go. This is Giants baseball in October.
Even with the disadvantage of going into the NDLS against the Chicago Cubs without Bumgarner for the first three games, the Giants still have Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore. They can hold their own on the mound until some one like Gorkys Hernandez hits the next big home run.
It’s an even year.
Thanks for reminding me.