The 2010 San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series.
There's a sentence that seemed highly unlikely before the season and even as late as August. In fact, it seemed pretty darn far-fetched as recently as October 11th—the day los Gigantes beat the Atlanta Braves and found the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies guarding the path to the Fall Classic.
But all the Phightins' firepower couldn't overcome the scintillating starting pitching and brilliant-when-it-needed-to-be relief corps.
Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Brian Wilson, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and rookie-phenom Madison Bumgarner (in both a starting gig and as a fireman) suffocated the explosive bats toted to the dish by Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and the rest of the Philly offense.
Meanwhile, Cody Ross took his turn at the head of the "Unlikely Heroes" table, grabbing NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors on the strength of his three big flies and timely contribution (he led the Giants with five runs batted in). Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez were almost as critical in support of Ross, and Buster Posey even made his contributions.
At the moment, the clincher in Game 6 of the NLCS feels like the biggest win in the history of the Bay Area.
These Giants are a likable bunch of misfits with no real centerpiece on offense and a unique blend of bright-eyed youngsters anchored by grizzled veterans getting their first tastes of postseason baseball plus some retreads. They were underdogs in the truest sense against a big money juggernaut with a World Series ring not two-years-old, other-worldly talent all over the diamond, and aces three-deep in the starting rotation.
Yet the good guys won.
Despite no home-field advantage and no chance in hell according to the experts (some moron at ESPN still won't acknowledge that SF outplayed Philly).
It's one for the ages, but only time and perspective will tell exactly where the 2010 NLCS victory ranks on the list of biggest wins in San Francisco Bay Area history. Until then, here are 25 of its toughest competitors: