Brian Wilson's beard has been one of the most productive players for the Giants this postseason.
***First of all, I'd like to apologize for my sabbatical from you, my fellow Giants fans. Apparently graduating from college isn't as easy as it looks, and they usually save the best stuff for your last semester. Thanks for waiting.***
All the Giants had to do was to make the playoffs.
Honestly, all I needed was for them to beat the Padres.
I've been saying it forever—in a playoff series, the Giants, no matter what their offense does, has the best rotation in baseball.
I believed that, even knowing that the Phillies had their triumvirate of awesome, the Giants matched up very well with anyone the gods decided to throw at them.
They did, and we fans saw just what the Giants are capable of.
It's not conventional baseball. There's good pitching, which can't be denied. Yet that's not all a team needs, and it's not all a team can rely on to get to the World Series. But somehow, the Giants were just good enough in all other categories to make it.
This team of misfits. Bochy's "Dirty Dozen." A Freak on the mound, a thong-wearing designated hitter at first base, a career minor leaguer playing Gold Glove center field. An overweight third baseman. A rookie catcher. Another designated hitter playing water buffalo in left field. And beards. So many beards.
It wasn't easy. It was stressful. It wasn't conventional. It was torture.
They made it on the most improbable of events.
A managing mistake by a Los Angeles non-manager which led to a burnt-out closer giving up a walk-off home run. A seven-run inning against a previously untouchable Colorado ace. A 10-game losing streak by a San Diego team that had been in first place for a majority of the year. A triple by the worst hitting pitcher in the league on the last day of the season.
That's what brought the playoffs back to San Francisco.
And since the playoffs started, there has been more improbability.
A three-error game by an out-of-position utility man, and a multitude of injuries at key positions made the Braves series interesting. The fact that every game except one was decided by one run didn't surprise anyone at this point.
Three home runs by waiver-wire pickup Cody Ross led the Giants past Roy Halladay AND Roy Oswalt. Another slew of errors by usually sure-handed fielders like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard put the Giants past the Phillies.
And apparently if you're playing against the Giants, you can't make a Willie Mays-style basket catch. The gods just won't allow it. Just ask Shane Victorino.
Now they're playing in the World Series.
I'm sorry, is that still happening? They haven't pulled a last minute switcheroo on us have they?
THE GIANTS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!
They really are. And they're facing a group of guys in the Rangers whose path to the World Series was just as improbable, defeating the two best records in the American League (the Yankees and the Rays).
After facing the best pitcher in the National League in the last series (Halladay), and beating him once, they're facing arguably the best pitcher in the American League (in playoffs history?) in Cliff Lee.
After facing one of the best hitters in the National League in Ryan Howard, and holding him to ZERO RBIs and 12 strikeouts in 22 at bats, they'll have to do the same against one of the best hitters in the American League in Josh Hamilton.
But if what we've seen so far is any indication, none of that matters to this Giants team.
All that matters is this: There will be good pitching.
All that matters is this: There will have to be a little offense.
All that matters is this: There will be a hero, and his name will be praised.
Let's go Giants. This is it. This is where we win.