SAN FRANCISCO — For all Marco Scutaro achieved in the NLCS, going 14 for 28 at the plate, sparkling on defense and winning the series MVP, the most accomplished playoff series in club history still belongs to Will Clark.
In 1989, Clark personally eviscerated the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, going 13 for 20 (.650) with two homers, eight RBIs and eight runs scored, along with three doubles and a triple. He had 24 total bases. If the Giants hadn't dismissed the Cubs in five games and the series had gone to the limit, who knows what kind of video game totals Clark would have accrued?
And yet, Scutaro's performance definitely rang some bells for Clark, now a special assistant with the Giants who helps out with the hitting. "The Thrill" is definitely not gone.
"Scutaro was phenomenal," Clark said. "To go out there and hit the ball on the screws every time up, I had flashbacks of getting hot and barreling up a ball, and Marco did it the whole series. It was great to see."
Clark also advised the Giants on the approaches for Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence. Clark said he made some suggestions to Sandoval between his first and second at-bats in Game 7. Sandoval moved closer to the plate and started to have success. He finished with an RBI double and a walk, batting .310 for the series.
"The thing I noticed with Pablo this series is the amount of discipline he hit with," said Clark, who walked 937 times in 1976 career cames. "He got into good hitter's counts because he took some pitches.
"And then he went up there, got the pitch he wanted and whacked the dog meat out of it."
Do pandas even eat that?
Clark said he thought Pence's three-run, broken-bat double in the third inning was the darnedest thing he has seen.
"I've never hit a ball like that, I've never seen a ball hit like that, and that's the beauty of baseball," Clark said. "Every time you come to the ballpark, you're going to see something new. And we've talked about the baseball gods before. The baseball gods were shining on the Giants tonight."