No torture. Pure joy. The Giants are on their way to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2002. Outfielder Cody Ross led the Giants past the Braves 3-2 on Monday night in Atlanta. The Giants will now face the Phillies in the NLCS beginning Saturday in Philadelphia.
Giants closer Brian Wilson says it will be a happy plane ride home to San Francisco.
Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010 Updated at 7:04 AM PDT
An unlikely hero who was acquired off waivers in August, Ross hit a home run to break up Derek Lowe’s no-hitter in the 6th inning. He also delivered the go-ahead run in the 7th inning. Ross pointed the win right back on his teammates. "I can't say enough about our pitching," Ross said. "They keep us in it the whole time. We just need to score a few."
Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson combined to limit the Braves to only two runs. Giants win.
The entire series was thrilling. Every game was decided by one run. "This series had everything," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said in the post-game news conference. "Just the intensity and excitement of the series, it had to be thrilling for the fans. There was never an easy moment for Bobby or myself, because these games could have gone either way."
It was a coaching duel to the end as managers Bruce Bochy and Bobby Cox faced off in each game. For instance, Monday night in the seventh inning Cox walked to the mound as though he was going to make a pitching change. Instead, Lowe and Cox chatted with Cox leaving Lowe in the game. Atlanta fans cheered the decision. But the next batter, Pat Burrell, got a walk. That was a deal-breaker. Cox pulled Lowe who left the mound to a standing O from fans.
For Cox, Monday night was his last game. He will now retire as the fourth winningest manager in baseball history. Both Cox and Bochy had kind words for the other in post-game interviews. "It doesn't feel like the last time I'm putting it on, but it certainly is," Cox said, his voice cracking. "I won't put it on again."
Giants ace Tim Lincecum will face Phillies ace Roy Halladay in Game 1. Game time is still to be announced.