SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite finishing below .500 for the last three seasons, the Giants experienced a wildly successful decade.
They won the World Series in three of the first five years of the 2010s, prompting cries of “dynasty” from their supporters. Here’s a top 10 list of games during that span that helped make the Giants champions.
1. First crown fits nicely
Nov. 1, 2010
This wasn’t the Giants’ most thrilling game of the decade, but it certainly was the most meaningful. Edgar Renteria’s seventh-inning, three-run homer complemented Tim Lincecum’s determined eight-inning effort in Game 5 of the World Series. The triumph over the Rangers brought San Francisco its first Fall Classic winner since the franchise moved west in 1958.
2. Bumgarner creates own legend
Oct. 29, 2014
Madison Bumgarner elevated his status from staff ace to legend by finishing Game 7 of the World Series with five shutout innings of relief on two days of rest after blanking Kansas City on four hits in Game 5. Bumgarner, who stranded Alex Gordon on third base to end this clincher, established a record by pitching 52 2/3 innings in the 2014 postseason.
3. Cain reaches perfection
June 13, 2012
Realizing every pitcher’s dream, Matt Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in baseball history and the first ever by a Giant. Cain struck out 14 Astros batters, equaling Sandy Koufax’s mark for most strikeouts in a perfect game. Right fielder Gregor Blanco preserved Cain’s perfecto with a sliding catch of Jordan Schafer’s drive that led off the seventh inning.
4. Zito becomes SF’s big man
Oct. 19, 2012
Trailing St. Louis, 3-1, in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, the Giants notched their fourth of six consecutive victories in elimination games during this postseason. Barry Zito, much-maligned and lightly regarded until that season, struck out six in 7 2/3 innings and retired 11 batters in a row at one juncture to wrest momentum from the Cardinals.
5. Trio for Pablo
Oct 24, 2012
Pablo Sandoval stole the show in the World Series opener by clobbering three home runs, including two off Detroit ace Justin Verlander, to join Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only hitters to accomplish that feat in a Series game. Zito allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings before Lincecum struck out five in 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief.
6. Sanchez provides postseason push
Oct. 3, 2010
The Giants needed this victory in the regular-season finale against the second-place Padres to clinch the NL West title and reach the postseason for the first time since 2003. Jonathan Sanchez not only pitched five innings, but he also tripled and scored in the third. Buster Posey contributed a home run, one inning before Brian Wilson sealed the decision with a perfect ninth.
7. Filibuster in nation's capital
Oct. 4, 2014
The Giants worked overtime to take a 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series over the Nationals. This 18-inning thriller set records for being the longest postseason game ever, both in terms of time (six hours, 23 minutes) and innings (matching the Atlanta-Houston standoff in Game 4 of the 2005 Division Series). Yusmeiro Petit earned the decision with six shutout innings, thanks to Brandon Belt’s tiebreaking homer in the 18th.
8. Comeback begins here
Oct. 9, 2012
The Giants were supposed to roll over for the Reds, who won the first two games of this best-of-five Division Series. But despite mustering one hit through nine innings, the Giants -- who were stirred by Hunter Pence’s passionate pregame speech -- scratched across an unearned run in the 10th inning to launch their six-game winning streak in elimination games.
9. Scutaro waves wand again
Oct. 28, 2012
San Francisco completed its four-game World Series sweep of Detroit by snapping a 3-3 tie in the 10th inning. Marco Scutaro, who drove in 44 runs in 61 games after being acquired from Colorado at the Trade Deadline, singled to score Ryan Theriot with the go-ahead run. Sergio Romo struck out the side in Detroit’s half of the 10th to record his third save of the Series.
10. “The Freak” is fantastic
Oct. 7, 2010
As the Division Series opener, this game began the Giants’ run of three World Series titles in five seasons. Lincecum guaranteed that the Giants would get off on the right foot by striking out 14 and limiting Atlanta to two hits in a brilliant complete-game performance. Cody Ross’ fourth-inning single delivered Posey with the game’s lone run.