For all of the San Francisco Giants' mid-season roster movements — the departure of Bengie Molina and arrival of Buster Posey, Pat Burrell coming in late-May, Javier Lopez being acquired just before the trade deadline, Cody Ross arriving in late-August.
For all the cast-of-characters stories and misfit characterizations that made these Giants so easy to like.
For all the different-hero-every-day exploits, topped by Edgar Renteria's Game 5-deciding, three-run homer that earned him World Series MVP honors.
When it gets right down to it, the Giants defied expectation and won a World Series for the first time since 1954 primarily because of the one thing everybody knew they possessed when pitchers and catchers showed up in Scottsdale back in mid-February:
Their very own, young, homegrown and immensely talented starting rotation — Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner.
“It's unbelievable how good they've been,'' manager Bruce Bochy said.
And because they were, you had these kinds of emotions pouring out along with champagne on the Rangers Ballpark field long after the final Game 5 out was recorded.
“I couldn't be happier right now,'' Lincecum said. “I don't know what to say.''
Added Bochy: “That last out ... it's what you dream about. I was numb at first. I didn't sleep (Sunday) night, to be honest — just thinking about it. You're on the verge; you have butterflies.''
And from Wilson: “I don't know what I was expecting to feel because I always woke up from the dream. I don't have to wake up for awhile now.
“Once we made the playoffs, the question to us was, 'why not do it?' So, one pitcher dominated, passed the ball to the next guy, and the next guy. It was kind of an inner competition to get things done.
But how about within the next couple of years?
“I like our chances,'' Wilson said. “We were picked fourth in spring training. We should at least move up to third next spring. You'd think.''
What, you expected totally serious responses from No. 38? But you get his point. Here's what the Giants' rotation did to a Rangers' offense filled with All-Stars:
They posted a 2.38 ERA in the World Series, and that's with an uncharacteristic 11-7 Game 1 victory thrown in.
Over the final four games, there were shutouts from Cain and Bumgarner in Games 2 and 4, and Lincecum dueled Cliff Lee for six more shutout innings in Game 5 that were reminiscent of the Jack Morris-John Smoltz Game 7 showdown in 1991.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
“None of us have been here before; It's a new thing for all of us,'' Lincecum said. “For guys to step up and stay poised, and give us a chance to win every game in the postseason, it says a lot.''
Lincecum — 26, the 10th overall pick in 2006 — beat Derek Lowe, Roy Halladay and Lee twice along the way this postseason.
Cain — 26, the 25th overall pick in 2002 — didn't allow an earned run over 21.1 innings in his three postseason outings. Only three other pitchers in World Series history have longer streaks.
Bumgarner — 21, the 10th overall pick in 2007 — became the youngest left-hander to throw as many as eight shutout innings in a World Series start.
The last foursome of homegrown pitchers on a World Series team were Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd and Al Nipper of the 1986 Boston Red Sox.
The good news in San Francisco is that their foursome is under control contractually for at least two more seasons. Which is another way of saying that Giants' pitching coach Dave Righetti is in an envious position.
“A lot of the credit goes to guys like (scouting special assistant) John Barr and (vice president of player personnel) Dick Tidrow. They're the ones who got these guys. They've known them since high school. They signed, them, believed in them, developed them.
“The guys all feed off each other. A little competition can be a good thing.''
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