The San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers last night to capture their second World Series championship in the last three years. The game went into extra innings, fitting for a desperate Detroit attempting to wring the last bits of magic out of their otherwise-remarkable season. The extra innings also appropriately gave Tigers fans that familiar false sense that the Giants had finally been put against the wall. Throughout the postseason, San Francisco would fight and cling their way back from the edge of defeat, only to then make victory look easy. So when the game went to a 10th inning, plenty of nervous fans back in San Francisco must have been holding their collective breath. Had these Giants put themselves into a corner once again?
After playing their way out of a hole in every series—coming back from a 1-3 hole in the League Championship Series against St. Louis and an 0-2 hole against the Cincinnati Reds—there was nothing easy about this march to the championship for the Giants. Therefore, the worry felt by Giants fans, even while 3-0 over a team that had just steamrolled the Yankees, seemed rational. The worry, it turned out, was unfounded.
The doubt of victory may have crept in to the minds of fans, but the players never let it creep in—and if they did, they certainly never showed it. The team that battled back over and over and over again this postseason never had to do so in the finals. The Giants forced the Tigers into batting a worse-than-pedestrian .159 average during this World Series, and San Francisco looked every bit as mighty as the Tigers had previously felt. The questions that loom over the future of the Tigers will ensure some serious debate during the offseason, but this moment isn't about them.
This moment is about celebrating a team that pulled it all together and, in a rarity in this day and age of baseball, now has their World Series championship actually in place before October's end. The San Francisco Giants left the baseball world in the dust to become champions in a whirlwind postseason that won't easily be forgotten.