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Homegrown Giants pitching proves unbeatable in World Series sweep

Oct 29, 2012, 12:25 AM EDT

Tim Lincecum Getty Images

Brian Sabean’s fondness for over-the-hill hitters has made him the butt of more than a few jokes during his 16-year run as the Giants’ general manager. What is undeniable, though, is that the man knows something about pitching, particularly young pitching.

Four of the five starters the Giants used this year and in the postseason were drafted by San Francisco, though Ryan Vogelsong circumnavigated the globe before making his way back to the team. Only the costly Barry Zito was acquired through other means.

Now, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner were all first-round picks, but other teams had their shots at them. Cain went 25th in the Moneyball draft in 2002. Lincecum and Bumgarner were 10th overall picks.

New closer Sergio Romo was a true Giants find, getting picked in the 28th round in 2005. Of course, the guy he stepped in for, Brian Wilson, was another Giants draft pick.

Those five Giants draft picks — Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Vogelsong and Romo — combined to post a 0.98 ERA in 27 1/3 innings in the World Series. Only Cain, the Game 4 starter, gave up any runs at all, and if the wind hadn’t been blowing out to aid the home runs of Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young, perhaps he wouldn’t have allowed any runs, either.

Of course, the Giants had help from a couple of homegrown hitters, too: probable NL MVP Buster Posey was the fifth overall pick in 2008 and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval was signed by the Giants out of Venezuela in 2003. There certainly haven’t been many success stories like those two from position players during Sabean’s reign, but as the 2012 Giants demonstrated, it doesn’t take a whole lot of hitting with arms like these.

  1. elwaysmilehighdenver - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Homegrown and Lincecum. Nuff said!

    • nogoodtomedead - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      The obligatory weed reference- glad we could get that out of the way

      • marinersnate - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM

        In the opening series of the year, way back at the end of March- A’s/M’s Tokyo Dome- there is a huge billboard in LF featuring Ichiro with a glass of beer. The slogan on the sign translates roughly to “Ichiro says drink Kirin Beer”.

        Maybe (soon) a day will come when the USA is enlightened enough for AT&T to feature a Billboard in LF of TimmyJam with a slogan something like…. “For a quality high, Timmy always prefers Gainesville Green.”

        As simply MLB fans, exactly why do we care what Mr. Lincecum’s vices are when he is not playing? I know I sure don’t.

  2. sailcat54 - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    The Giants pitching dominated the post season. Well done!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      And Matt Cain became the 5th pitcher in MLB history to pitch a perfect game and win the World Series the same year! Before him were: Larsen, Koufax, Wells, Cone.

  3. Nevis - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    It looks the Tigers 30 innings to get their first lead. While the Dodgers were stockpiling huge contracts and alleged difference-makers, the Giants signed Scutaro for peanuts and traded for Pence. Came back from an 0-2 NLDS to win, and a 1-3 deficit in the NLCS. This team is one for the record books.

    • seattlej - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:50 AM

      Yeah! Great moves by Sabean, Pence has been a miracle worker since the trade! (Sarcasm).

      • marinersnate - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:07 AM

        Well, Seattlej, as an M’s fan myself, I am really betting that Sabean is glad that he traded for Pence. And not Montero. Nuff said.

      • Hunter Pence's Eyes - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        Pence may not have been an amazing hitter, but he provided solid fielding and he was the emotional spark that ignited this team when they were down in the LDS and LCS. Without him, they wouldn’t world champions today.

        So yes, a great move by Sabean.

      • stex52 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Pence played this year well below his historical numbers. There is no particular reason to think he won’t recover significantly next year. In the meantime, he was good enough to help them to the championship.

        I think Pence is a bit overpriced based on this year, but Sabean is likely to do okay by the deal.

  4. nghtrder169 - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Yankees take notes

    • bozosforall - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      Yankees won 4 of 5 in the late 90s using homegrown players. Yankees don’t need to take notes from anyone, what with 7 titles in the free agency era and 27 titles overall.

      But congrats to the Giants nonetheless.

      • seattlej - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:46 AM

        It’s 2012 now. But congrats to the 1990s Yankees.

      • bozosforall - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        Seattle might want to take notes…from both franchises. 27 to 7 to 0. You figure it out.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:47 AM

        If the Yankees know so much about the importance of homegrown talent, why do they keep trading it all away?

      • bozosforall - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Everyone trades away homegrown talent when it suits them. The Yankees are hardly the only team that does so. At any rate, making the playoffs 16 out of the last 17 years is nothing to scoff at.

      • sailcat54 - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM

        Scoff, scoff, scoff.

      • bozosforall - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM

        Scoff all you will but no team has had as much recent success as the Yankees. We won’t even bring up the superior history of MLBs greatest franchise.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Yankees take notes

      Did I miss something, or did the Yankees not make it to the ALCS this year with the best record in the AL? Why not say, hey Boston, take note considering they didn’t even hit the 70 win mark? Also, any chance we can take an accurate depiction of the Yanks?

      C – Arbitration eligible FA
      1b – FA
      2b – homegrown
      SS – homegrown
      3b – trade
      LF – homegrown
      CF – trade
      RF – trade

      Not exactly a team that just buys players does it when the one big FA acquisition was Teixeira. For pitchers, it’s essentially the same. CC – FA, Pineda – trade, Kuroda – 1 yr FA, Pettitte/Nova/Hughes/Phelps – homegrown.

      • bigzant82 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        yankees suck GO Mets the fall of the yankee empire has started since 2010 let it continue

  5. jasonburg - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    “Over-the-hill hitters” is of course an accurate reference in the broader historical context, but I’ve gotta laugh after the two months Marco Scutaro just had. Score this year: Sabean 1, Second-guessers 0.

  6. lgwelsh1 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Glad to see that Barry Zito earned his paycheck FINALLY!

  7. txnative61 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Nothing against Sabean, but credit also belongs to the bullpen coach and pitching coach for on the fly corrections to mechanics, and a brilliant strategy on shutting down some of baseballs best hitters. And of course Manager Bochy made the decisions on using them.

  8. charlutes - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Started in true negative Mathew fashion with a Digg a the GM who just won the world series

  9. samu0034 - Oct 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    I have to say, I feel pretty good for Zito. Presumably he got a ring for the last championship when he infamously wasn’t even on the post season roster. Were that me, despite what help I gave the team during the regular season, I’d feel like crap every time I saw that ring and knew that I didn’t have anything to do with winning that World Series. Getting to the playoffs: sure. Winning the Series: not so much. But now he has a ring that he’s earned, and no one can take that away from him. Must be a pretty awesome feeling.

    • bradleeygalindo22 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      Yeah he did get a ring for that season. And he did have a good amount to do with the giants even getting into the playoffs. Even with a 9-14 record, if you recall, the giants needed every single one of those wins. Although he blew the second to last game against the padres, without him, it wouldn’t have happened. He’s a hell of a guy, which these days should count for something, with all the inflated professional athletes contracts and subsequent egos. Pretty down to earth m-f-er for being the highest paid 5th starter in the history of man.

      • bradleeygalindo22 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        I would feel OK with the ring from 2010 if I was zito, but now he toss up a peace sign and feel especially stoked he has the 2012 ring on his middle finger. Poor guy has been ripped to shreds in sf since he signed that deal.

      • bradleeygalindo22 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:15 AM

        *can feel

  10. stex52 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Better pitching and defense wins the short series. Amazing how we have to learn the same lesson about baseball over and over again.

    • sumerduckman - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      That seems to be the formula that the Nats are using. Of course they also have a couple of homegrown position players that can hit also.

      Hopefully they will have the same results as the Giants soon.

  11. bradleeygalindo22 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    God dammit. *can toss ( it’s 5:15 am and I think I’m still a little buzzed from last night)

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