The opening of the 2014 season was a clean slate for the San Francisco Giants. The team came off of a lackluster title defense after winning the World Series in 2012.
Baseball experts from around the country saw the Giants as a solid team, but nothing special.
“While the Giants are far from spectacular, they are solid throughout the roster and good enough to compete on a nightly basis with strong starting pitching,” said Joe Giglio in an article on Bleacher Report.
Simply, the Giants didn’t have the talent other teams had including the team’s division foes in Los Angeles.
However, when the season began, the Giants burst out of the gates on a rant seemingly to prove all the doubters wrong as they sported a 42-21 record through early June.
Unfortunately, the hot start failed in longevity as the Giants seemed to hit a slump.
As players started to drop with injuries, so did the team’s place in the standings.
The team’s spark plug Angel Pagan had his season end early due to back surgery in late Septemeber, which ailed the Giants search for creating consistent scoring opportunities on offense.The Giants also lost Brandon Belt, Matt Cain and Hector Sanchez.
Even with these players hurt, there was still enough talent to get the Giants to the playoffs including: Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Madison Bumgarner to name a few.
It also helped to get contributions from unlikely rookie second-baseman Joe Panik.
Panik hit over .300 and played above average defense at a position in need of assistance due to another injured player in the form of Marco Scutaro.
With a scratch and claw tactic of baseball, the Giants were able to drag the team’s beaten bodies into the playoffs.
The team’s sluggish entry into the postseason earned them a wild card matchup on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Giants won easily 8-0.
Next was a Divisional round best of five series against the Washington Nationals.
The Nationals had the best record in baseball.
The games were tough. One went a postseason record 18 innings, in which the Giants won 2-1.
The win propelled the Giants to a 3-1 victory.
Most recent was the National League Championship rematch from two years ago against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The series was far from the one two years ago that saw the Giants rally from a 3-1 series deficit and win. Once again, destiny was on the Giants side as the team came out on top 4-1 in a best of seven.
The Giants are now facing another wild card team from the American League, the Kansas City Royals, in the World Series.
Will the even-numbered year trend continue for the Giants?
Only time will tell.