SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – As commuters in San Francisco poured out of the BART stations early Tuesday, they appeared to be in a zombie-like trance.
And for good reason.
Their beloved Giants had taken them on a wild five-hour-plus emotional rollercoaster ride that ended on the edge of midnight with a dramatic 13-inning Game 3 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.
The victory staved off elimination – the 10th straight time under manager Bruce Bochy the team has won a win-or-go-home playoff game.
Giants fans have grown as accustomed as you can to these games they call “Torture” but in the locker room it has created a resilience almost unparalleled in of sports.
If Manager Bruce Bochy could bottle the atmosphere he has created, he’d make billions.
What major American industrial giant wouldn’t want a secret formula that would instill the highest drive for success among its workforce at a time when the pressure and stakes are the greatest.
The current edition of the Giants had their resilience tested and honed in the final few weeks of the regular season when each game was a must-win.
On the regular season’s final weekend, San Francisco needed to sweep their bitter rivals – the Los Angeles Dodgers – in order to keep their post-season hopes alive.
They took on the best Dodgers pitchers and won three straight.
“This club has a history,” the Giants skipper said prophetically before Game 3. “It’s what you like about what’s going on. Finding a way to win the game they had to and moving on. That’s the experience that is so vital to draw upon. If you don’t have that, you may not have the belief that you can do it…They know they have done it….It’s all about believing.”
Bochy says he tries to read his team as to what motivational course he will take.
During the 2012 NLDS with his team trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series and forced to win three straight in Cincinnati, Bochy said he relied on locker room talks.
There was no need for a long talk on Monday night. It was short and to the point — the Giants had what it takes to win.
“If there is some doubt in there, I’ll talk to them,” he said. “I don’t think there is (doubt). In fact, I know there isn’t… You keep fighting. It’s pretty simple.”
But Bochy said of all the 10, Monday night’s victory was one of the most exciting.
“This was one of the most exciting games I have ever been involved,” Bochy said in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. “They (his players) found a way to score off one of the best closers in the game (Conor Gillaspie’s two-run triple off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth). The game had everything…Guys did a great job of keep battling.”