PADECKY: Perfect vibe heading into World Series

  • Hunter Pence connects for a two run double with another run scored on an error in the 3rd inning. The San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-0, in Game 7 of the NLCS on Monday, October, 22, 2012.

    (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)


The Giants? They had adversity this season? Is that true? When?

It seems so long ago now, after what happened these last three St. Louis games. Giant starters Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain allowed one run in their final 20 1/3 innings pitched. That's a combined 0.44 earned-run average in three elimination games. A 0.44 ERA! When the pressure was the greatest, the three pitchers posted numbers you typically only see in high school baseball.

NLCS Game 7: Giants vs. Cardinals


"Barry showed us the way and we just followed," said Vogelsong of Zito's 7 2/3 performance in Game 5. "Barry showed us how to attack the hitters and attack early."

Yes, it was the aggression we saw in those three games. The Cardinals, after all, were supposed a carbon copy of the Giants. Resilient. Tough. No quit. No loss of composure. It made for a good story line — until the Giants sucked the very life out of a team that was supposed to be as hot and as tenacious as they were.

The Cardinals? Never say die? Sorry. They died. Expired in a wither. They died at the hand, er, three hands of a lefty and two righties. By the time Monday night and Game 7 rolled around, the Cardinals swung at pitches outside of the strike zone, missed ones right down the middle of the plate and botched, really botched, balls on the infield and in the outfield. Right in front of our eyes, much to the shock of Cardinal fans and their team as well, St. Louis unraveled.

You almost felt embarrassed for them. Almost.

And then Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro — the NLCS' MVP — said what he said in the postgame locker room and restored perspective.

In the downpour, with the rain coming down so hard in that Cardinal ninth, Scutaro looked up, drunk a million raindrops and a second later caught Matt Holliday's infield pop for the last out of the game.

"I just kept telling myself, &‘Don't you let it drop,' " Scutaro said. "I just wanted to catch the last out."

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