Defying the odds. Some teams have an innate ability to do that. In 2010, the Giants did everything right in the postseason en route to their first championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958. It was the franchise's first title in 54 years, and the team seemed like a throwback to the modern clubs (a la the Yankees) that had perpetually played in the World Series.
Two years later, a similar theme has emerged: The scrappy, never-say-die Giants won three games on the road to overtake Cincinnati and win their National League Division Series. Having made history, the Giants hope to recreate it by returning to the World Series in 2012.
To do so, they will have to beat the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals and in many ways, confront a team very much like themselves: Resilient, hard-working, clutch and battle-tested. With all due respect to the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees, the real battle of this postseason may very well be in this series right here.
That said, here are my five keys to the Giants winning their second pennant in three years.