SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy knew the idea that the Giants would continue to win the World Series every even-numbered year was far-fetched. The manager bluntly said it wasn't going to happen while talking to reporters before Game 3 of the National League Division Series.One night later, Bochy's prediction was
SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy knew the idea that the Giants would continue to win the World Series every even-numbered year was far-fetched. The manager bluntly said it wasn't going to happen while talking to reporters before Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
One night later, Bochy's prediction was confirmed, as the Cubs stormed AT&T Park's infield after clinching the NLDS with a 6-5 come-from-behind victory on Tuesday. After 10 consecutive wins in elimination games, San Francisco was finally knocked out in the postseason.
"It's a weird feeling," Bochy said. "It just ends so abruptly and especially the way it ended. So it's a strange feeling; it kind of gives you an empty stomach to go out like this."
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As some of the Giants players saw it, they got beat by a Cubs team built just like their championship clubs.
"I see a lot of similarities between us," said Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. "I think that's why it was such a close series. It came down to one run. I can definitely see them doing well."
But Giants first baseman Brandon Belt also acknowledged that the Cubs may simply be a different beast.
"They're just really good and really deep," said Belt. "Every person they run out there is top-notch. Their pitching up and down is really good, their lineup, their defense. It's probably one of the most well-rounded teams I've ever seen in my entire life. It's tough to beat teams like that."
The Cubs won 103 regular-season games and have multiple NL Cy Young and MVP candidates on their roster. But, according to Belt, the club's depth was its strongest attribute.
That was on display against the Giants. The club used a solo home run from Javier Báez to beat San Francisco in Game 1 and got contributions from 39-year-old catcher David Ross throughout the series. They also erased multiple ninth-inning deficits, including a four-run surge in the ninth to beat the Giants on Tuesday night.
"They put themselves in situations to win most games," said Belt. "They weren't ready to quit tonight."
Added Hunter Pence: "Sometimes you gotta tip your cap. The Cubs played outstanding. All these games were remarkably close, and they earned it."
Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.