THE SANTA CLARA
October 9, 2014
Nobody thought the San Francisco Giants would win their Division Series matchup against the Washington Nationals. By nobody, I mean the “experts.” ESPN predictions almost unanimously favored the Nationals to win the series, even after the Giants’ Game 1 win.
If you looked at almost every website before the series, including ESPN and Bleacher Report’s “expert” opinions, you would see the Washington “W” logo across the board for their picks to win. Washington had the best record in the National League coming into the series against San Francisco at 96-66.
Despite having the record and the expert picks, they fell to the Giants’ postseason magic.
The Giants took the Nats out in four games, 3-1, in the best-of-five series. San Francisco took Game 1 behind Jake Peavy’s first postseason win in a spectacular performance. He carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before being pulled.
Brandon Belt was the hero of Game 2 with a home run in the 18th inning, showing the team’s grit and determination in the playoffs. The Giants just refused to give up, and that is why they’ve won two World Series in four years.
Washington stayed alive, winning Game 3 because of Doug Fister’s seven shutout innings. Bryce Harper sealed the win with a homer in the ninth and suddenly, Giants’ fans were starting to sweat.
But in Game 4, the Giants showed the same toughness that delivered two championships to the Bay Area.
The Giants went up 2-0 in the second inning but the Nationals came roaring back in the fifth and seventh innings to tie the game. Orange and black fans were starting to sweat again; the powerful team from the nation’s capital looked poised to tie the series at 2-2 and go back to D.C.
However, San Francisco wasn’t going to give up that easily in October. In the seventh inning, Joe Panik would score on Washington’s Aaron Barrett’s wild pitch. This is the willpower, fortitude and resolve that Giants fans like to see.
San Francisco has now won an NL record seven straight series but their 10-game postseason winning streak that began in 2012 in the NL Championship
Series against the St. Louis Cardinals was broken in Washington’s Game 3 victory. The team travels to St. Louis on Saturday for Game 1 of what is a rematch of that 2012 NLCS series when the Giants came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cardinals two years ago.
San Francisco is an every-other year kind of team. They won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. Maybe it’s their time again in 2014, against the same opponent in the NLCS. Just saying.
Tyler Scott is a junior marketing major and the editor of the Sports section.