Orange rags were swinging and playoff baseball was in the air at AT&T Park on Friday night.
Maybe it was the orange jerseys, orange rags waving or the sell-out crowd living and dying with every pitch thrown, but the crowd knew and both teams knew it -- this was a game with meaning.
Suddenly, the Giants of 2011 were the Giants of 2010. Cody Ross hit a home run and made a diving catch, Aubrey Huff was playing first base, Mark DeRosa was the first one on the dugout step, a misfit like Jeff Keppinger had an RBI double and manager Bruce Bochy was making moves -- and they were working.
Life was back in these San Francisco Giants.
We found out several things about the Giants on Friday night. If they are to win the NL West, it will be with what got them there last season -- the veterans and guys that were there in 2010.
Huff is a bad place to start, but he was on the field just like last season's playoff run. Also, Ross was clutch, as he had been throughout the 2010 playoffs. Even the aora that was Pat Burrell starting in left field brought back memories of the September of 2010.
We also found out just why the Giants chose to go hard after Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline, as if his career stats were not reason enough.
One thing Beltran does is comes up big in big games. Friday night was a big game, and he came up huge. Beltran went 4 for 4 with a home run, triple and two singles, while driving in three runs.
Friday night brought back memories of 2010, and you could tell after the game when everyone on the Giants roster had a smile on their face and twinkle in their eye, as if to say "don't count us out just yet."
By no means are the Giants satisfied with that Friday night win, though. At least they shouldn't be. There is a long way to go before we talk about 2011 being anything like 2010.
First things first, San Francisco needs a sweep.
From an Arizona Diamondbacks' perspective, one win during this three-game series in San Francisco is a victory in their mind. Five games up with 22 games left is enough to feel real confident.
However, Friday night showed that the Giants want that 2010 feeling again with whatever line-up they can get it with.
Sure, it tickled everyone senseless to watch a team playing with motivation and passion, just like in 2010. And although there is a long, long way to go for this Giants team, there seems to be something hanging on to the fact that they did it last year and are capable of doing it again.
Friday night in San Francisco showed that.