SAN FRANCISCO The Giants championship formula is a familiar one, but with new faces all over the diamond two years later: stellar starting pitching backed by a shut-down bullpen, a late-season surge and a manager making all the right moves.
San Francisco captured its second World Series title in three seasons with a stunning sweep of the Tigers, and only catcher Buster Posey was in the lineup for the Game 5 clincher in 2010 at Texas and also the finale at Comerica Park in 2012.
Were just happy right now, Posey said. Its an unbelievable feeling.
Two of the four games against Detroit were started and won by a pair of pitchers not on the World Series roster in 2010, and in Ryan Vogelsongs case he wasnt in the majors back then.
The only regular still around from that team is Posey, and the catcher had to rebound from devastating ankle and leg injuries sustained in a home-plate collision in late May 2011 to put together an MVP-caliber season and become the NL batting champ. He played far more than anybody envisioned his body would allow.
This time, bench warmers from that last October run shined for San Francisco MVP Pablo Sandoval and Game 1 winner Barry Zito. Lefty Zito was off the postseason roster for all three rounds in 2010.
Just as a player, certainly you want to play on a team that wins the World Series. And to go out there and contribute, theres nothing like that, Zito said. We were very adamant that we have to step on their throats.
Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence were this years midseason additions, with Scutaro following Cody Ross in 2010 to earn NL championship series MVP honors. While Scutaro produced the timely hits, including a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning of Sundays 4-3 win, Pence became the motivational speaker. He reminded teammates to keep focus when they jumped to a 3-0 Series lead against the Tigers.
They fell behind 2-0 to Cincinnati in the division series, then became the first team in major league history to rally back in a five-game series by winning three straight road games. They did it again against defending champion St. Louis, erasing a 3-1 deficit thanks largely to Zitos Game 5 victory at Busch Stadium.
Six victories in six elimination games.
Bruce Bochy, who became the 23rd manager to win two or more World Series titles, is tired of hearing people call it luck.
To be world champions in two out of the last three years, its amazing, Bochy said. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to get here, and I couldnt be prouder of a group of guys that were not going to be denied.
When the Giants take to Market Street in downtown San Francisco for Wednesdays Halloween championship parade, there will be no costumes needed. Brian Wilson, whose season ended in April when he needed Tommy John elbow surgery, and the man who finished the clincher in his place by striking out the side Sunday on 15 pitches Sergio Romo are sporting those dark postseason beards that have made them such huge hits.
Along with their pitching, of course.