Through grit and determination the San Francisco Giants are headed to the World Series, although those two characteristics could easily be replaced with luck and sheer magic that every World Series contender holds this time of year.
The Giants pulled a rabbit out of a hat not once, not twice, but six times in these playoffs -- facing elimination for the sixth time on Monday night vs. St. Louis in Game 7.
Now, they enter the World Series for the second time in three years.
In 2010, it was all about the misfit group of players destined for a World Series victory. In 2012, while the team may not be a band of misfits anymore, they still carry the same scrappiness and destiny-driven persona with them.
Barry Zito starting Game 1 of the World Series?
You were lying.
With the starting rotation out of the way for Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff in the order of Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain, decisions must now be made in the lineup.
Aubrey Huff has contributed nearly nothing to this team thus far, despite the desperate attempts the Giants have made to rekindle some of his 2010 magic. It would not be a surprise to see Huff be replaced with Eli Whiteside on the roster -- another catcher that could backup Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez, especially with the DH situation looming in Games 3, 4 and 5.
For now, we can safely assume that Joaquin Arias will be playing third base in Game 3, with Pablo Sandoval holding down the DH duties. You never know what you get with Sandoval at third base. He has the potential for a diving stab at a ball down the line, but he also has the potential for throwing the ball in the dirt to first base on a routine ground ball.
However, there are several other options Bochy has for the DH spot in the lineup vs. the Tigers.
It is safe to say that Posey will be doing the catching throughout the entirety of the series, making Hector Sanchez’s probability behind the plate extremely low -- especially with Tim Lincecum sentenced to the bullpen. We could see Sanchez at the DH spot, but only if the Giants add Whiteside to the World Series roster. Using Sanchez and Posey in the lineup at the same time would make Sandoval the backup catcher, and Bochy cannot afford that.
Another option would be Xavier Nady, who has had relative success as a Giant. He did pretty much lose the left fielder’s job to Gregor Blanco, but he could be useful as a bigger bat in the lineup than what Arias can supply.
This is obviously Bochy’s second choice, and it all depends on how Arias does in the first couple of games at the plate that decides whether he attempts to switch his lineup in the middle of the series.