The 2012 San Francisco Giants are the National League West Division Champions! This club came home on Monday with the Magic Number at nine and promptly won six games in a row to seize control of their own destiny. The Dodgers helped out with three losses (including one today) and that was that. The Giants have an eleven game lead with ten to play: the Magic Number is zero, they are the champs. Lots of highlights tonight, and that's the hallmark of this team--lots of heroes. Madison Bumgarner had a rocky 6th but pitched effectively and kept his team in it. He also had an RBI hit! Pablo Sandoval walked in the 1st to keep a rally going and made a ridiculous play in the 4th to get an out on a foul pop up. Brandon Belt had two hits including a home run and scored three runs. Marco Scutaro had three hits and three RBI. Angel Pagan had a hit, a walk, and two runs scored. Javier Lopez struck out the only guy he faced, as did Guillermo Mota. Hunter Pence had two hits and a first-inning RBI with a sacrifice fly. Jeremy Affeldt went three-up-three down in his inning, all via strikeout. It was Giants baseball, namely, pitching, defense, and scoring with every arrow in the quiver. There was speed, little ball, productive outs, situational hitting, and power all simmered together to cook up a clutch win.
Everything came together in the second half and the team nabbed the West title going away. Brian Sabean assembled the roster and Bruce Bochy made the right moves and now they head for the playoffs. The front office and coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for a winning culture. The players stepped up and overcame injuries and adversity to win the big games down the stretch. It's an easy team to like and one that's not hard to be confident about. They have some formidable foes to look forward to, but they can match up well against any team and have the talent and savvy to win it all. Let's hope they put on a show for us in the post-season.
The new Magic Number is Eleven: 3 + 4 + 4.