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San Francisco Giants: The Giants' Top Defensive Plays of the Year

Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIOctober 12, 2016

San Francisco Giants: The Giants' Top Defensive Plays of the Year

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    The San Francisco Giants have had a slew of amazing plays during the season that show how their defense can lead them to the World Series. Whether it has been Brandon Crawford dazzling viewers at shortstop or Greg Blanco gliding across the outfield to run down an unobtainable ball, the Giants have shown why they are the best defensive team in the league.

    Within that group of amazing plays, there are five plays that have stood out above the rest.  When you see them, I am sure your jaw will drop.

    Let’s take a closer look.

Honorable Mentions

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    There have been some amazing plays made by the Giants defense that didn't make the top five, but they needed to earn some recognition.

    Here is a list of those still spectacular plays:

    Emmanuel Burriss going into the hole to make a stop with a glove flip to Brandon Crawford that results in a double play here.

    Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford combine to throw out a runner at the plate here.

    Pablo Sandoval uses his cat-like reflexes to dive and snare the bunt here.

    Justin Christian makes a diving catch while injuring himself in the process.

    Ryan Theriot, Crawford and an outstretched Sandoval turn a beautiful double-play.

5. The Sprawled out Panda

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    Pablo Sandoval makes a dazzling catch on this bunt. He reads it right off the bat and is in position to full extend himself in the air in time to make the diving catch.

    Sandoval recorded an out and made sure the runner returned back to first base. That is going all out for your teammates.

4. Pablo Sandoval's Dugout Catch

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    Pablo Sandoval makes an unbelievable play by grabbing the railing, making the touch catch and landing in the seats.  He used his "Kung Fu Panda" agility and skill to snare the foul ball.

    Sandoval has taken a lot of heat for his frame, but he still has the agility and in this case, the confidence to make that play.

3. Angel Pagan Diving Catch That Ended in a Double Play

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    Angel Pagan makes a spectacular diving catch in the gap, then immediately hops to his feet and throws a strike to Brandon Crawford on the outfield grass.  Crawford catches it, twirls and throws a laser to Brandon Belt at first base to double up San Diego's Chase Headley.

    This was one of the most exciting plays of the season and could arguably be No. 1.  This play exemplifies Pagan's skills in the outfield and Crawford's ability as a shortstop.

2. Sandoval and Crawford's Circus Catch in Houston

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    This is a circus of play where Pablo Sandoval has a tough play trying to catch a foul pop-up.  Sandoval goes back and gets a glove on it, falls backward and then flips the ball up in the air as he and the ball are about to hit the ground.

    Brandon Crawford then has to react from his help position to unexpectedly sprawl out for the ball and make a fully-extended diving catch. This was truly an amazing play.

1. Gregor Blanco’s Amazing Catch to Save Matt Cain’s Perfect Game

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    Matt Cain has a perfect game in the seventh inning when he gives up a deep fly ball into Triples Alley, but Gregor Blanco comes out of nowhere to make an unbelievable diving catch and saves Cain's perfect game.

    This catch was unexpected and made a perfect ending to a perfect night. Blanco read the ball right off the bat in order to be in position to make the spectacular diving catch.  His catch, along with Matt Cain's perfect night, will go down in Giants history.

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