Embrace the even-year magic with this Giants postseason preview
It's almost time for the postseason! As teams punch their tickets to the October party, we're taking a look back at their season -- giving away some Season Superlatives and also offering you a chance to learn which member of the team you actually are.
It's been an up-and-down year for the Giants -- the best record in baseball at the All-Star break was promptly followed by a late-summer swoon that put the season in jeopardy. But San Francisco righted the ship, finishing a sweep of the Dodgers with a 7-1 win on Sunday to clinch the second Wild Card spot.
Now, armed with the power of Buster, Madison Bumgarner and Even Year Magic, the Giants are ready to make some noise in the postseason again. But first, it's time to celebrate -- so do your best Angel Pagan impression:
And let's hand out some superlatives in honor of the season that was.
Most memorable home run
For most of the night, it seemed like the Dodgers-Giants showdown on April 9 would be memorable for L.A. -- unheralded rookie Ross Stripling was forced to make his first Major League start due to a rash of injuries ... and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.
There was just one problem: Stripling's pitch count was getting up there, and after issuing his fourth walk of the night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to the bullpen. Chris Hatcher came on to face Trevor Brown, San Francisco's backup catcher and owner of a career .573 OPS in 44 plate appearances. Naturally, Brown went yard:
That blast sent the game into extras, where a Brandon Crawford dinger sent the Giants home with a win.
Most impressive individual game performance
It's commonly said that failure is simply an unavoidable part of baseball. Getting one hit is hard enough -- even the best players have plenty of hitless nights over the course of a long season. Two hits? Well, now you've had a game to feel good about. Three? That's truly impressive.
Unless you're Crawford, that is, who sees your puny offensive efforts and raises you seven hits in one game.
Yes, really: Crawford went 7-for-8 (!) in a game against the Marlins back in August -- one double, one triple, five singles and ten total bases. The Giants needed every one of them, too, edging Miami 8-7 in 14 innings ... with Crawford delivering the game-winning RBI.
Most joyous celebration
Given that nothing in the history of mankind has ever been as joyous as Hunter Pence, of course he earns this award. Still, though: There's Hunter Pence, and there's Hunter Pence celebrating a two-run bunt (?!) by Johnny Cueto. Sit back, relax and enjoy:
Once you've peeled your eyes away from that GIF, though, there's still one more thing to do before you're ready for San Francisco's postseason -- you need to find out just which Giant you truly are. Just take the quiz below and let science do its thing.