Monday, October 10, 2016

The 10th straight victory in elimination games

That's what should happen tonight. The SF Giants web site says so. 

 - The Giants will rely on their resilience and Madison Bumgarner's excellence as they strive to subdue the Chicago Cubs and extend their season in Monday's Game 3 of the National League Division Series (6:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. CT on FS1 and FOX Deportes).
But San Francisco's unspoken fear is that the Cubs are immune to the lapses that befell the Giants' recent postseason opponents.

Consider the Giants' nine consecutive postseason victories in elimination games. This streak is impossible to disparage, though some have tried by calling the club lucky. The simple fact is that nine postseason games is more than just a representative sampling. San Francisco's success in these games is legitimate.

 However, the Giants must conjure the magic of that streak. They won't make a dent in the 2-0 series deficit they face entering this game unless they begin to hit.
For instance, in NLDS Game 4 at Cincinnati in 2012, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco each homered. Such a lift in this series is hard to envision.
Then, as every Giants fan remembers, Buster Posey belted a grand slam off Mat Latos in the Game 5 clincher. San Francisco might need a similar lightning bolt to stimulate its offense.
Taking a commanding early lead has become a rarity for San Francisco. But in the 2012 NL Championship Series against St. Louis, the Giants quickly established themselves in each elimination game. They led, 4-0, after four innings of Game 5, went in front, 5-0, in Game 6 and built a 7-0 edge after three innings in Game 7.

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