After watching 32 agonizing one-run victories in 2010 — 28 in the regular season, four in the playoffs — San Francisco Giants fans have come to see their favorite squad as the proverbial "team of destiny."
The team of destiny is now only one game away from their first World Series berth since 2002 and the thing that strikes me most is that they've reached that rare territory where they're defining and emphasizing "team." Juan Uribe's(notes) sac fly in the bottom of the ninth may have won Game 4 of the NLCS to give San Francisco a 3-1 series lead, but almost everyone in the box score played a role in delivering the team to that point.
In the field, Edgar Renteria(notes), Aaron Rowand(notes) and Posey each made huge defensive plays. The pitching staff struggled at times but the bullpen did well enough to get the ninth inning to Brian Wilson(notes), who went 1-2-3 and set the stage for the bottom of the inning.
Look up and down that roster Wednesday and it's not hard to see why the Giants are on the brink of shocking the baseball world by winning this series in five games, when most of us — myself included — thought it would be the other way around.
"We don't have 25 stars," Wilson said after the game (via @castrovince). "But we do have 25 guys who will outwork you. That's a fact."
It won't be easy to seal the deal, of course. Standing between the Giants and another opportunity to win their first World Series in San Francisco is Roy Halladay(notes) and there's little chance he wants his first postseason trip to end on his watch.
San Francisco luckily counters with Tim Lincecum(notes) and the orange-clad mob at AT&T Park is going to be set to 11. It's hard to predict what will happen, though I'm relatively certain it'll be a one-run game one way or the other.
And if the Giants play together like they did in Game 4? Well, their chances of popping the champagne are that much better.
San Francisco's team of destiny is on the doorstep.