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Do The San Francisco Giants Have What it Takes to Win a Third World Series in Five Seasons?
San Francisco Giants 2014
The young starter is now the Ace of the staff
The last two times that the San Francisco Giants qualified for postseason play, Madison Bumgarner was the inexperienced pitcher on their starting staff. In 2014 he is now the Ace of the staff and a pitcher with plenty of postseason experience at just 25 years old. Elven with Matt Cain's injury, the Giants have found a way to piece together another strong starting rotation. The complementary players that surround superstar Buster Posey, are the exact mix of talent that is necessary to score runs in the postseason. Buster Posey's leadership as both the man who guides the pitching staff, and the Giants offensive star, is unmatched by many of the stars on opposing teams in the postseason. Another season where the Giants bullpen delivers for wins a high percentage of the time, allows the Giants to be very dangerous when they take a lead to the late innings. A great combination of youth and veteran experience is what has gotten the Giants this far, and should make them good enough to take home another MLB title in 2014.
Jake Peavy and the rest of the rotation
With Matt Cain missing the second half of the season, the Giants turned to a key deadline trade to deliver them the success they wanted from their starting rotation. The Giants were able to find just what they needed when they made a deadline deal with the Red Sox that sent Jake Peavy to San Francisco. While Peavy was not having a good season with the Red Sox, he was able to put the rough start to the season behind him with the change of scenery in San Francisco. Peavy's 2.17 earned runs average and 1.04 walks plus hits per inning pitched with the Giants, was exactly what the Giants needed in order to have success in the absence of Matt Cain. For Peavy early on in the postseason, he has carried over his late season success with the Giants into postseason play. While this is not the only factor in determining how far the Giants will go in the playoffs, Peavy's success has played a huge role in giving the Giants the opportunity to return to the World Series for the third time in five years.
Buster Posey's role as a leader
What Buster Posey does for the Giants goes well beyond just what is quantified as his offensive and defensive production. When the Giants offense does something big in either the regular season or the postseason, Buster Posey is usually right in the middle of the offensive rally. Buster Posey's great hitting ability as well as his ability to hit for power is what makes such a huge difference for the Giants in so many crucial situations. Since Buster Posey has delivered so many times in big situations, his teammates trust him completely and this is of special importance to his teammates on the pitching staff. Complete trust between Buster Posey and the Giants pitching staff, allows the Giants to deliver their pitch in big situations because they trust Posey to call for the right pitch in every situation. The trust that Posey's ability to lead by example promotes, also promotes trust and team chemistry among the rest of the Giants players. Posey's role as a leader on the San Francisco Giants, plays a huge role in the Giants ability to get the job done because his influence creates the team chemistry necessary to play at a championship level.
Youth and veteran ability to close out leads
Late in the 2014 season, relief pitcher Hunter Strickland emerged as a solid option to help the Giants close out late inning leads. He is one of many pitchers with this type of ability in the Giants' bullpen, and his presence helped to pick up the slack for Sergio Romo when he experienced some significant struggles in the closer's role for the Giants this season. Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt continue to be solid veteran pitchers that the Giants can lean on to get key outs in the late innings of huge ballgames. As long as the Giants continue to get solid relief pitching from the veterans and youngsters in their bullpen, their relief pitching staff will give them every opportunity to win in the postseason. The bullpen for the Giants is just one of several aspects of the game that have proven that they can come up big in the postseason and help to lead them to championships.
The Giants once again have a team that has excelled enough to get them to the National League Championship Series in 2014. The Giants possess postseason experience that very few teams can turn to when faced with a tough situation in the postseason. Since the Giants have proved that they have the talent to win in the postseason, having this confidence from past success works in their favor when the core of their team has to help lead a new group of players back to the World Series. As the Giants go for their third World Series title in five years, they have the talent necessary to succeed and the confidence to get the job done because of their past experience. With the Giants finding themselves in a great situation once again this postseason, the Cardinals are the largest obstacle in their path to the title, with both American League teams left in the playoffs, being inexperienced playoff teams.