Team effort at heart of Giants' celebration
Seven players had at least one RBI, four earned wins in NLCS
PHILADELPHIA -- It didn't matter who had been here before, or who was savoring pennant-winning champagne for the first time. The scene inside a packed visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night turned Sunday morning was savored by all.
As the celebration of a 3-2 Game 6 win over the Phillies shifted from the field to the clubhouse, ample time was made for reflection and exclamation as the corks were being popped and the beer was being poured.
"I can't believe it," third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. "We have no quit, and we made it. It's time to celebrate. We're going to the World Series!"
"This is something that I could get used to," added Brian Wilson, who notched a five-out save in Saturday's victory. "This is our third now, I like it. I don't even like champagne. But I do now."
Sixteen of the players on the Giants' 25-man roster had never advanced to the postseason. Now a group that has been characterized by some as misfits and outcasts -- Jeremy Affeldt said he prefers the term "unique individuals" -- sits four wins away from San Francisco's first World Series title.
"This is even better," said Freddy Sanchez, when asked how this compared to the Oct. 11 celebration at Turner Field. "We're going to the World Series. It's unbelievable. It's just amazing.
"You get a lot of people -- family, friends -- telling us we give them a heart attack with these games. You know, I think we've been prepared for these games. We've had them all year. We'll see what happens, but we're just excited to be here."
When the champagne dries, the Giants will begin preparation for the Rangers, who eliminated the Yankees in a six-game American League Championship Series. Questions were asked about the matchup during San Francisco's postgame celebration, though players had little interest in dissecting the matchup on this night.
This was to be a celebration, and only a celebration.
Thanks to the National League's win in the All-Star Game this summer, San Francisco will host the first two games of the World Series, which begins on Wednesday.
"I know America probably wanted to see Yankees and the Phillies, but it's time for some new blood," Aubrey Huff said. "We've got the Giants and the Rangers, and it will be an exciting Series."
For Huff, a trip to the Fall Classic has taken 11 seasons and five different uniforms. Such a journey would explain why he paused in the middle of the chaos, shook his head and struggled to put it all into words.
"Man, it's sweet," he said. "I get it, man. I get it. There is no better feeling in the world."
As was the case in its Division Series win over Atlanta, San Francisco earned this series victory by winning the close one. Three of the team's four wins came by a one-run margin, with the other featuring a shutout performance by the pitching staff.
Seven different players drove in at least one run. Four different pitchers earned wins. This was a team victory in every way, which made the celebration that much more fulfilling.
"We do have some crazies here, but I think it makes us who we are, and we compete because of it," Affeldt said.
Added Sanchez: "We have a bunch of guys on this team that just want to win, and we'll do whatever it takes to get there. It was amazing. This is the best group of guys that I've ever played with."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.