This is the first playoff appearance for the Orange and Black since 2003.
For the Giants and their fans, it all came down to a nerve-wracking final game of the season. The team formed an instant mob at the pitching mound following the last out. After many jumps, high fives and hugs, every player and coach took a lap around the stadium to give more high fives to their fans. Manager Bruce Bochy brought up the rear, tipping his cap and waving it over and over again. To a man, every Giants interviewed post game credited the fans as the driving factor to their success.
The catch phrase for San Francisco this year is summed up in one word: "torture." That held true in the final series against their division rival. The Giants lost the first two to the Padres before Sunday's thrilling win in front of a standing room only crowd at AT&T.
The win goes to Jonathon Sanchez. Sanchez (13-9) contributed with his bat as well. He hit a triple and scored the game's first run in the third inning. Aubrey Huff followed with an RBI double. Buster Posey got an insurance run in the eighth when he capped off an incredible rookie season by hitting a home run into the bleachers.
We learned early in the game that the Atlanta Braves beat the Phillies. That meant San Francisco had to win outright in order to avoid a "play-in" game Monday down in San Diego. The news added to the pressure and the "torture" of the game.
But in the end, the Giants won!
The Padres didn't make it easy though. San Diego won both Friday and Saturday in a very hostile environment along China Basin, making Sunday one of those must win games.
Next up is the Braves as they extend Bobby Cox's farewell season. Game one and two will be in San Francisco Thursday and Friday. Then the series will move to Atlanta on Sunday.
Thursday's starting pitcher will be ace Tim Lincecum. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
This is the first postseason since the end of the Barry Bonds era. In 2003, Bonds lead a very different team in just about every way imaginable. Back then it was lead by hitting. Now it's about pitching. In 2003, the Giants lost NL division series in four games to Florida. That was one year after falling six outs shy of a World Series title against the Anaheim Angels.
The Associated Press points out the Giants team that is in the playoffs also looks nothing like the roster on Opening Day. Posey was called up in late May and hit 18 homers to make a strong case for NL Rookie of the Year honors, and Pat Burrell revived his career after signing a minor league deal May 29 following his release by Tampa Bay. The bullpen features all new faces since then and Mike Fontenot, Jose Guillen and Cody Ross also are newbies.
The victory lap around the stadium for the fans was the highlight of the day for Lori Preuitt.