SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It may have been overcast and drizzling at AT&T Park on Monday morning, but the smile on San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy was bright as a summer’s day.

The Giants were piling into their charter buses, heading to San Francisco International Airport and a flight to New York for a National League wildcard showdown with the Mets.

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San Francisco, which had the best record in baseball before the All-Star Game, stumbled badly in the second half and needed a sweep of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers to earn a spot in the wildcard game.

Bochy said the second half struggles made Sunday’s playoff berth winning victory all the sweeter.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said standing near the buses. “Especially when you look at our second half – our up and downs. It’s nice to have a bright moment for these guys and have them be able to celebrate despite all the struggles…It’s a fun time for me to see them celebrate.”

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It’s not the first time the Giants have had to play in the wildcard game to earn the right into the National League playoffs. San Francisco was the wildcard in 2014 and went on to win their third World Series title since 2010.

“We’ve been here before – it’s do or die,” Bochy said. “But it’s all about getting a shot (at the World Series). It’s not like it’s new to us. You embrace it.

We could all be packing up and going home (if they hadn’t won the wildcard berth).”

The Giants will have 2014 World Series hero Madison Bumgarner taking to mound on Wednesday against New York’s flame-throwing ace Noah Syndergaard.

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“We got our guy going. They got their guy going,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting.”