For the first time in a long while, San Francisco Giants fans had something to smile about after Saturday's ballgame.
Extending their winning streak to three games after a 3-0 shutout of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday afternoon, the Giants assured themselves that a simple win on Sunday will punch their ticket to the postseason.
That result had faithful fans brewing in confidence with one game to go.
"The Giants are going to win tomorrow," Laurie Hochmut from Sacramento predicted. "St. Louis is going to lose tomorrow. Giants are in the playoffs. They are going to win the wild card. We are on to our even year World Series gig."
If the Giants top the Dodgers in the 162nd and final regular season game Sunday afternoon, they will clinch the second wild card spot and open up the playoffs with a single game contest against the New York Mets in the Big Apple on Wednesday. A loss by the Giants on Sunday coupled with a win by the St. Louis Cardinals will set up a win-or-go-home "playoff" game on Monday in the Midwest before the actual playoffs.
Before Giants fans could run through the playoff scenarios following Saturday's game, they were treated to eight innings of shut out baseball by rookie pitcher Ty Blach. Making his second career appearance in the big leagues, the lefty gave up just three hits and was backed by an offense that was ignited in the fifth inning by a solo shot from outfield Angel Pagan.
"The home run set it off and then from there, the crowd got into it," said Gary Alegre, a fan from Stockton.
San Francisco tallied two more runs in the seventh inning and Sergio Romo completed the save to grant the Giants a favorable position in the playoff race with the final day of regular season play looming.
Despite a dismal second half of baseball since the All-Star break in which San Francisco gave up the division lead and suffered through a number of blown saves, fans are enjoying the Giants squad that is rolling into October baseball.
"(The Giants) rose to the occasion the last two days," Alegre said.