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The Giants run to the World Series is a remarkable one. There's the playoffs, of course, which saw San Francisco reel off an absolutely improbable six-straight wins in elimination games.
The regular season was equally as difficult though, as the Giants lost their closer and then lost their best hitter and then, somehow, played their best baseball of the season. Speaking to 96.7 the Game in San Francisco, pitcher Ryan Vogelsong said that the hardships the Giants went through during the season prepared them for the playoffs and, at this point, being down "doesn't phase us anymore."
"I think it’s just everything we’ve been through during the season. We lose Wilson and we have to find a way to win without Wilson, then we lose Melky [Cabrera] and we have to figure out a way to win without Melky," Vogelsong said. "We go down 0-2 to Cincinnati and we have to figure out a way to win three there in a stadium where they hadn’t lost three games in a row all season and then we go down 3-1 to the Cardinals and we just have to find a way to win. I think it doesn’t phase us anymore.
"We’ve been through so much through the season, you don’t win games because you feel like you’re out of place and I don’t feel like we feel like we’re out of place in those situations.”
There's definitely something to this theory: it becomes much easier to be "clutch" when you've been "clutch" many times before. There's no pressure to choke and expectations disappear when you've performed late in games.
Additionally, the Giants spent most of the postseason playing with nothing to lose and looked like a team that was enjoying the moment and refusing to panic/stop having fun (a.k.a. the opposite of the Yankees).
Vogelsong confirmed that, saying he's "had a blast" the last two games he's pitched for the Giants.
"It’s fun when you’re doing good. It’s crazy," Vogelsong said. "The last two games I’ve had a blast. Even Buster (Posey) was like ‘you’re having fun out there aren’t you?’ I said ‘yeah’ but a lot of that comes with knowing I’m hitting the glove with where he puts it right now. The game gets a little more stressful when he puts the glove over there and you’re not having a lot of success hitting it.
"It’s a little more enjoyable when he’s calling a pitch and I’m throwing where he wants it so I’m having a good time right now.”
It's also a lot easier to have a good time when you're winning. The Giants are doing plenty of that right now, and if their fun performances and clutch play carry over into the World Series, it's definitely not a bad thing either.