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‘Everybody knew we were gonna win’: Giants confidence hits its peak

Consider the Giants bored.

Of course they knew what was going to happen. It’s happened so many times for a team that’s 10-2 in extra-inning games. For a team that’s 24-10 in one-run games.

“It wasn’t, gosh, I hope we’re going to win this game,” Madison Bumgarner said. “… I feel like everybody knew we were gonna win, just when’s it gonna happen.”

It happened in the 13th, a Pablo Sandoval opposite-field shot providing the final run in a 5-4 victory over the Cubs at Oracle Park. The Giants put on display why they think this should not have been Bumgarner’s farewell to San Francisco, moving to 52-50, two games back of a wild card.

Bumgarner was solid, letting up three runs in seven innings. Reyes Moronta was not spectacular, allowing two base runners in two-thirds of an inning, one of which would score.

Every other arm was untouchable. Tony Watson, Will Smith, Mark Melancon and Sam Coonrod — yes, Sam Coonrod — combined to go 5 1/3 scoreless innings. It was more that they refused to lose rather than were destined to win.

“Incredible. We got a lot of good arms to throw at you,” Bumgarner said. “… We feel like anybody we run out there is gonna get the job done. And they have.”

The Giants have had four walk-offs in six games, enabled by a bullpen anchored by Smith, who hasn’t given up a run in five innings. It’s 6 1/3 for Watson. Six and 2/3 for Melancon.

“Relentless. The defense and pitching has been ridiculous, if you really look at it,” said Alex Dickerson, who has been ridiculous himself, now batting .397 for the Giants and hit his sixth home run. “A lot of these games have been lost on one error here or there. Up the middle our guys have really been outstanding. We’re turning almost every double play we get an opportunity on. The bullpen arms, they’ve got to be the best in baseball. Just guys lights-out, [one] after another.”

You may have heard, but Bumgarner has won three World Series with the Giants. Which provides a little perspective to:

“This is probably the best stretch I’ve been a part of,” said Bumgarner, who declined to talk about the trade-deadline “noise” that “no one here cares about.”

“I didn’t go back and look. But just going by my memory, it’s gotta be up there.”

Farhan Zaidi has to decide what kind of team this is. Bumgarner has a suggestion.

“I think this is a dangerous team,” he said on July 23, with the clock ticking. “It really is.”


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