Cut4 Postseason Primer: San Francisco Giants
From 30 World Series hopefuls, only a few remain. In case you haven't been following every contender, here's a catch-up on what you missed and what to expect next. In this edition: The San Francisco Giants
Impeccably dressed in cream, black and orange, the San Francisco Giants have seemingly perfected their every-other-year style of postseason qualification. In 2010, they won the World Series. In 2012, they won the World Series. Will 2014 continue the streak?
While the Giants will not advance in the way they hoped, settling for the Wild Card despite having a 10-game lead in the NL West on June 8th, the team will be looking to run the table in the postseason.
Here are the five ways that they got here:
5. Tim Lincecum's mustache
People were unimpressed with Lincecum's thin mustache when it was first photographed during Spring Training. This is because people don't truly respect the delicate growth process for the mustache and how it must be cultivated like a fine wine.
Plus, when the ol' soup strainer wasn't producing no-hitters, it was helping Lincecum look like a dignified manager:
4. Horses love the Giants
For some reason, horses have long been drawn to the Giants. After hosting a beer-drinking horse:
This season saw the emergence of the first horses ever to grill out in McCovey Cove.
3. Yusmeiro Petit only gets outs
Coming into this season, Yusmeiro Petit had a career 5.20 ERA over 282 Major League innings with three different teams.
This season, that number was a sparkling 3.63, leading to his inclusion in the Giants rotation at the end of the year. Along the way, Petit set the record for most consecutive batters retired, sitting down a remarkable 46 in a row. He finished the streak with a flourish on this strikeout:
2. Madison Bumgarner will crush home runs like nobody's business
Madison Bumgarner is a pitcher. Madison Bumgarner is a very good pitcher. After having his best year as a Major Leaguer last season, Bumgarner managed to get even better in 2014, setting career highs almost across the board.
Even more remarkably, Bumgarner has flexed those muscles at the plate, knocking out four home runs -- the most by a pitcher since Yovani Gallardo also knocked out four in 2010.
Snot rockets for everyone!
1. Hunter Pence
When the history of the world is written, 2014 will be known as the year of the Hunter Pence. Sure, the slugger with the awkward swing had his seventh consecutive season with 20 or more home runs, but Pence was more known for what happened off the field.
Like when his scooter was stolen, only to have it fortunately returned by the good people of San Francisco.
Thanks to sfpd for returning hunter's scooter. pic.twitter.com/rSLc4yhWLF- Joe Day (@rocketped) May 28, 2014
Or when Pence turned into a bizarre anti-joke meme:
Which, somehow, improbably, impossibly, turned into a rap song that featured the actual on-screen talents of Mr. Pence himself:
And then, there were the things Pence brought upon himself. His mournful dugout gaze:
Or that he likes to pretend he's on Gossip Girl when he's in New York (yeah, but like, who doesn't?).
But through it all, there's that swing. That bizarre, loopy swing that looks like it's better served for churning butter, yet produces dingers like these.
So, what can we expect from the Giants this October? A few predictions:
But he will never be on time. So, you know, he'll be like commercial air travel.
Greg Amsinger will peer deep into his cauldron and will a Buster Posey home run into existence.
Rookie second baseman Joe Panik will deliver the key hit in a playoff game, sparking thousands of headline writers to dig deep into their Smiths record collection and write things like "Panik on the Streets of [INSERT CITY OF TEAM GIANTS ARE PLAYING.]"
Tim Lincecum won't dress up as the manager. Instead, he'll change outfits every inning, becoming a perfect double for every Giants starter that day. The umpires will grow very confused and ask him to stop. Except they won't know if it's really him.