Bruce Bochy tips his cap to Giants fans after sweeping Detroit in the World Series
The San Francisco Giants had a fun and exciting year in 2012. It culminated with the Giants overcoming six elimination games to make it to the World Series.
Once in the World Series, the Giants' pitchers silenced the Detroit bats as the Giants swept the Tigers in four games.
The Giants gave their fans so many noteworthy moments this past season. Here are the top 10 most memorable of 2012.
Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games in mid August.
Melky Cabrera was the MVP of the All-Star Game and was having a tremendous year. Then, in the middle of August, it all came crashing down.
Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, (PEDs). At the time of his suspension, Cabrera was hitting .346 with an OBP of .390 and OPS of .906. Cabrera also had 11 home runs, 60 RBI, 84 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.
Although this was a punch in the gut for the Giants, they used it as a rallying point. They went on to win the division, and their postseason heroics are legendary.
When Cabrera departed, he failed to address his teammates, which caused even greater animosity. The Giants bonded as a team and began playing better baseball as they turned this negative into a positive.
Matt Holliday steamrolled Marco Scutaro.
In the NLCS, Matt Holliday literally bowled over Marco Scutaro in Game 2. Scutaro was trying to make a double-play pivot and was extremely vulnerable when Holliday slammed into him. It was clear that Holliday slid very late and tried to take out Scutaro.
It was a dirty play, which could have destroyed Scutaro's knee. Scutaro had to leave the game, and it was questionable if he would be able to return to the series.
Scutaro fought through the pain and returned to start Game 3. He showed tremendous resolve, and that grit was appreciated by his teammates and Giants fans.
It was a fitting end to the NLCS when Scutaro caught Holliday's pop-up to close out the Cardinals and send the Giants to the World Series.
Marco Scutaro strokes another hit in the NLCS.
Marco Scutaro had an NLCS series for the ages. He went 14-for-28 for a .500 batting average. His OBP was .533, and he had an OPS of 1.140. Scutaro also had four RBI and scored six runs in the series.
Scutaro also played flawlessly in the field and even overcame severe pain when he was rammed into by Matt Holliday in Game 2.
He was an instrumental figure in the Giants being able to battle back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Cardinals in the final three games of the series. For his outstanding play, Scutaro was named MVP of the NLCS.
Buster Posey's Grand Slam propelled the Giants to a Game 5 win over the Reds.
The Giants lost the first two games of the NLDS and had to win three straight against the Reds in Cincinnati. The Giants won back-to-back games, bringing the series to a deciding Game 5.
Giant-hater Mat Latos was on the mound for the Reds facing Matt Cain. Entering the fifth inning, it was a scoreless tie. The Giants broke through for two runs when Buster Posey delivered the key blow of the game.
With the bases loaded and one out, Posey launched a Latos' pitch deep into the stands for a grand slam. This gave the Giants a 6-0 lead. They would hang on to win 6-4, which enabled them to advance to the NLCS against the Cardinals.
Ryan Theriot scores the go-ahead run against the Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series.
The Giants and Tigers battled to a three-all tie and headed to extra innings in Game 4 of the World Series. Ryan Theriot led off the 10th inning with a single and advanced to second on a Brandon Crawford sacrifice.
After an Angel Pagan strikeout, Marco Scutaro came to the plate. Giants fans could not have wanted anyone else at the plate in that two-out situation.
Scutaro drilled a single to center off reliever Phil Coke. Theriot raced around third and slid across home plate with the go-ahead run. The Giants would hold the lead and earn a 4-3 victory.
The Giants' pitching dominated the Tigers, and they swept the series.
Gregor Blanco's incredible catch in deep right-center field preserved Matt Cain's perfect game.
Blanco was playing toward right-center in the spacious AT&T Park, as Jordan Schafer drilled a ball into the wide-open spaces. Blanco raced over and made a lunging, diving grab, which preserved Cain's no-hitter.
Blanco is an extremely strong defensive player and displayed his defensive skills throughout the season. However, no play was more memorable than this one because of the timing of the play.
Pablo Sandoval's three home runs set the tone of the series.
The Detroit Tigers had their ace Justin Verlander on the hill to start Game 1 of the World Series. The Giants countered with Barry Zito, and many thought it was a foregone conclusion that the Tigers would win this game.
Zito out-pitched Verlander, and Pablo Sandoval got the Giants off to a big start offensively. Sandoval hit his first home run of the game off Verlander on an 0-2 pitch in the first inning.
In the third inning, Sandoval came up again to face Verlander. This time, a run had already scored in the inning, and the Giants had Marco Scutaro on base. Sandoval crushed another Verlander offering for his second home run of the game.
Sandoval hit his third home run of the game, this time off reliever Al Alburquerque.
Sandoval became only the third player in history to hit three home runs in a World Series game. The others to accomplish this feat are Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and Babe Ruth, who did it twice.
Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history.
Matt Cain has become an elite pitcher and the ace of the Giants' staff. He is also a team leader and one of the most respected members of the Giants.
It was June 13, and the Giants were playing a home game against the Houston Astros. The Giants jumped out to a big lead, and Cain was cruising.
By about the fifth inning, the AT&T crowd realized that Cain was still perfect. In the seventh inning, Gregor Blanco made a lunging, diving catch of a long drive off the bat of Jordan Schafer. Blanco raced into deep right-center field to make the grab.
In the ninth inning, on the final at-bat of the game, pinch-hitter Jason Castro came to the plate.
Castro hit a tough grounder to third baseman Joaquin Arias. Arias played a tricky hop, and his momentum was pushing him backward. Arias recovered and made a long accurate throw to first for the final out of the game and sealed Cain's place in history.
Cain's perfect game, the 22nd in MLB history, was the greatest individual performance of the season. He does not get the most memorable moment, however, as the team's accomplishments come first.
Sergio Romo earned three saves in the World Series.
In Game 4 of the World Series, the Giants had taken a 4-3 lead in the 10th inning. Sergio Romo entered the game to close out the game and a sweep of the Tigers.
With two out, Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, came to the plate. Romo fed Cabrera a steady diet of sliders, and Cabrera was looking for a pitch he could drive to tie the game.
With two strikes, Cabrera was still looking for the slider and was noticeably leaning out over the plate. Posey and Romo saw this and made a gutsy pitch call.
Romo threw a fastball right down the middle and froze Cabrera for a strike-three call. Pandemonium erupted on the field, as the Giants had won their second world championship in three years.
Matt Cain, Sergio Romo and Buster Posey address the crowd at the Giants' victory parade.
The Giants' second victory parade in downtown San Francisco was as good as the first. With their second world championship in three years, the Giants celebrated in style with their fans.
The Giants' first World Series win was a feeling of relief as long-suffering Giants fans had not seen a championship since the Giants moved west in 1958. The 2010 team was a band of self-proclaimed misfits who came together and relied on their strong pitching staff to win it all.
In 2012, the Giants proved that the 2010 title was no fluke. The Giants fought off six elimination games in the playoffs to prevail over the Reds and Cardinals. The resilience and perseverance of this team was incredible.
The excitement of the 2012 season culminated with the victory parade, as the Giants players and management were feted, but were also able to thank and return the positive thoughts back to their fans.
The Giants have all of their key players returning in 2013 and are poised to make another run at the title in the coming season.