How the West was Won: Magic
So yes, there is indeed magic inside the 2010 Giants. I think. I’m not sure.
After events like Phil Cuzzi, David Eckstein walk-offs, one-hit losses, bloop doubles and Velez dropping fly balls, getting swept by the Dodgers at home, Coors Field, and even more Coors Field; the San Francisco Giants have won the NL West with a 3-0 victory against the Padres on the last day of the regular season.
The Giants finished with a 92-70 record, good for homefield advantage against any team in the playoffs aside from the Phillies, all the way through to the World Series (because of the National League winning the All-Star Game). Without going too in-depth the Giants outscored their opponents by 114 runs, good for 94 2nd-order wins (2nd best in the NL, 4th best in baseball). PECOTA had them as a .551 3rd-order team coming into today’s action (4th best in the NL), good for 89 wins. So more or less, the Giants are basically around where you’d expect based on their performance as a team.
On the pitching side – using StatCorner’s tRA – the Giants had the best starting pitching behind the Phillies and Rockies, and best bullpen behind the Padres and Braves. Overall, the Giants had the best pitching in the National League this season. Defensively, the Giants ranked 3rd in UZR and 2nd using the +/- system. Offensively, they were pretty average (-15 runs on FanGraphs, +14 on StatCorner).
“It’s better to be lucky than good.” Sometimes, you just can’t disagree with that. Giants fans everywhere – including here – have talked a lot about how special this team is on an emotional level. The stories about Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez never being in the playoffs, Andres Torres as the career minor leaguer turned into a 6-win player, a certified ninja as a closer, a Panda, a Freak, and a young, budding superstar behind the plate. There’s no need to go in-depth on this team, as we’ve already done it, and the season isn’t over. This isn’t the time for analyzing, this is the time for enjoying the moment. In the next couple days we’ll preview the upcoming series with the Atlanta Braves (starting Thursday night) and the inevitable magic accompanied by torture. But until then, enjoy: