The Giants defied the odds in becoming the first MLB team this season to clinch a playoff berth Monday night with their 9-1 win over the San Diego Padres, and now, history is on San Francisco's side.
What do the Giants' three World Series championships in San Francisco have in common? Yes, we know all about the Even Year magic. However, there's another common theme here. When the Giants clinched playoff berths in 2010, 2012 and 2014, they did so against none other than the Padres while playing in San Francisco.
The Giants clinched a playoff berth and NL West championship against the Padres with a 3-0 win on Oct. 3, 2010, which was the last game of the regular season. Nearly one month later, they gave San Francisco its first World Series parade by beating the Texas Rangers in five games on Nov. 3, 2010.
Two years later, the Giants clinched the West with an 8-4 win over the Padres on Sept. 22, 2012, again in front of their home fans. They then shocked everyone by sweeping the Detroit Tigers, celebrating yet another World Series in San Francisco on Oct. 28, 2012.
Finally, the Giants technically clinched a playoff berth in 2014 thanks to a Milwaukee Brewers loss against the Cincinnati Reds, but they then went on to rally back for a 9-8 win vs. the Padres on Sept. 25, 2014, 10 hours after the Brewers' loss.
The inevitable was set in stone. Thanks to the heroics of Madison Bumgarner, the Giants took down the Kansas City Royals for their third title in five years on Oct. 29, 2014.
San Francisco Giants
Seven years later, the Giants are here again. They're led by the same championship core of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt -- with Posey a three-time champion and Crawford and Belt both having two rings to their name. The front office now is a group of fan-favorites, thanks to bringing in castoffs like Kevin Gausman, LaMonte Wade Jr., Darin Ruf, Mike Yastrzemski and so many more, just to see them become key contributors to a championship contender. It also doesn't hurt going in and adding a former NL MVP in Kris Bryant, who looks like the perfect Giant, at the trade deadline.
Youth already has arrived, with plenty more on the way as well. Kervin Castro, a 22-year-old converted catcher who never pitched above Low-A before this season, recorded the final out -- a strikeout -- to seal the win against San Diego. We often forget that Logan Webb, now the Giants' ace, still is just 24 years old.
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The Giants were projected to win just 75 games all season. Baseball-Reference gave them an 8.9-percent chance to reach the postseason. They now have 94 wins, and stamped their spot in the playoffs with another win over the Padres. What comes next?
History is in their favor, with a fourth World Series ring in waiting.