Giants have ample experience facing elimination

AP Photo/Tony AvelarSan Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy

The San Francisco Giants have proven themselves to be elimination experts.

Just rewind two Octobers ago, when the Giants overcame six elimination games on the way to their second World Series championship in three years.

No doubt this year will be different. San Francisco must win Wednesday at Pittsburgh to advance into the best-of-five NL Division Series against the NL East champion Washington Nationals.

Manager Bruce Bochy has plenty of players still around from the core of the roster two years ago who went through all those remarkable comebacks, such as becoming the first team in major league history to rally from a two-game deficit in a five-game series by winning three consecutive road games to beat Cincinnati.

Then, San Francisco won three more elimination games to beat the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series.

“Well, sure, for our club, that's invaluable experience,” Bochy said. “You look at the clubs we're looking at playing, they've been through it, too — Pittsburgh, they've been in that game. That's all relative, really.”

San Francisco (88-74) hopes to regain a postseason swagger with many of the same faces who have done this before. From Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence, to pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum.

Lefty 18-game winner Bumgarner will pitch Wednesday.

“It never gets old, especially for these guys,” said Lincecum, who pitched the Game 5 World Series clincher in 2010 and was a key reliever in the '12 title run. “We've been through a lot together, ups and downs. But once you get through that door, this is when we look to do something great.”

The Giants spent 96 days in first place and led the division by 10 games on June 9 despite the absences of injured stars Matt Cain, Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan for long stretches of the season. Then, they stumbled through September and lost nine of their final 15.

“They had a tough week. Something like this can lift their spirits,” Bochy said of getting back to the playoffs.

“If it helps relax some guys, great. I told them what a great job they've done because we've had some ups and downs.”

During his time with Atlanta, Giants right-hander Tim Hudson watched the Braves lose the one-game wild card two years ago 6-3 to St. Louis on a controversial infield fly call that prompted irate fans to throw bottles and trash and delay the game at Turner Field.

“I just don't like it because a lot of times, the better team don't win,” Hudson said. “If it was a three-game series I think you'd have a better chance of having the better team come out of it. Anybody can beat anybody on one day. You can have the worst team in baseball and they throw their ace against anybody, they're going to have a chance to beat them. … It's just unfortunate a 162-game season is going to come down to one game.”

Bruce BochyMLBPittsburgh PiratesSan Francisco Giants

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Sen. Kamala Harris chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate

Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running… Continue reading

Supervisors fear Tenderloin lawsuit settlement sets bad precedent

UC Hastings case pushed city to move more homeless residents into hotels or shelters

UCSF police seek suspect in killing at Inner Sunset campus

UC San Francisco police are investigating the death of a person who… Continue reading

Mayor Breed unveils $446.1 milion COVID-19 budget proposal

Mayor London Breed unveiled the budget proposal Tuesday for The City’s COVID-19… Continue reading

‘Street Crisis Response Team’ to respond to behavioral health calls

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced the creation of a… Continue reading

Most Read