EXTRA BAGGS: Nothing small about the Scutaro deal, etc.

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EXTRA BAGGS: Nothing small about the Scutaro deal, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO The moment always arrives in a clinchinggame: the players take in their surroundings, lock eyes and nod.

It's the moment when they know: Weve got this.

For the Giants, they knew they would clinch the NL West in the fourth inning Saturday night, when Marco Scutaro collected a two-out, two-run single to give them a 5-1 lead. Scutaro contributed another two-out RBI hit in the sixth his third of the game and 78th in 51 games as a Giant as they saw through an 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers added over 200 million in dead payroll to getuseful stars in Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. The Giants received farmore punch from a little contact man who had 2 million left on his deal andthe Colorado Rockies covered a quarter of that, too.

Scutaro, oh my God, center fielder Angel Pagan said. Theway he plays baseball, hes teaching me to be a better player. I dont have thewords.

Pablo Sandoval said he knew the Giants would win whenScutaros two-run hit found turf. Posey, never one to take anything forgranted, felt the same way.

He just you know, he just never seems to be in a hurry,Posey said. Thats the main thing. Hes patiently aggressive, I guess Ill gowith that.

Just like 2010, when Giants GM Brian Sabean made morecomplementary moves to get relievers Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez, theacquisition of Scutaro made a huge impact on the face of the NL West.

They lost Melky Cabrera, who was hitting .346. They addedScutaro, who is hitting .361 since the deal for minor league Charlie Culberson.

Could Sabean ever recall getting a bigger impact player atmidseason?

Id have to look back, but hes been pretty darnconsistent, Sabean said. Really, after we moved up Pagan to the leadoff spotand had Scutaro second, thats when the lineup seemed to turn on a dime. Andmost of the lineup is out there every day. Theres an energy to that.

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Sergio Romo had a feeling he might be entrusted with gettingthe final out in a clinching victory. So he sought out the swami in thesematters, one Brian Wilson, Esq.

I said, Im really excited. What a feeling it would be,Romo said. He said, Just wait. Its only the first of plenty.

Tell you what, I love these guys. Were not trying to bethat man. Were all just trying to be ourselves. All year long, all weve triedto do is complement each other. Its an amazing feeling. I feel very proud, very privilegedto get that last out. It meant a lot to me personally that they trust me andgave me that chance.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was tickled at how thematchups worked out in the ninth, allowing him to use Javier Lopez to strikeout lefty hitter Yonder Alonso, and then bring in Romo to end it.

We wouldnt be here without Lopez, and both of them havebeen closing games, Bochy said. So to have them both out there was special.It meant a lot to me to put them out there and hopefully it meant a lot tothem, too.

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The Giants rotation won its sixth consecutive game, asMadison Bumgarner pitched well enough to win. Its the second time in the lastfive weeks that the Giants were able to take a turn through their rotation withall five starters receiving a win.

They also did it Aug. 20-24. Not surprisingly, they wrestedfirst place for keeps on Aug. 20 at San Diego, and never looked back.

Prior to that, they hadnt done it since April 20-25, 2007(Russ Ortiz, Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Matt Morris and Noah Lowry).

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It was fitting that Bumgarner pitched the clincher. Twoyears ago, he stood against a wall in a cramped clubhouse at Texas, all of 21years old, and said he would appreciate everything about being in thepostseason because you never know if youll get there again.

Hes going there, again.

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Six of nine Giants on the field at the final out do not owna World Series ring.

Pagan and Scutaro were two of them. So were Brandon Belt,Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford.

Crawford was in the Giants minor league system in 2010. Hewas at the World Series sitting in the 300 level. So dont tell him that this teamisnt hungry to go all the way.

RATTO: It wasn't clean, but it was classically Giant

We got in the ninth inning and it was the loudest Ive everheard it here and it gets pretty loud, too, said Crawford, who grew up in Pleasanton. Being part ofthis team and going to the playoffs, its a dream come true. Thats the onlyway I can describe it.

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This is the Giants eighth NL West title. Its the sixthtime theyve clinched against the Padres.

I checked and of Bochys four NL West titles in his dozenyears as San Diegos manager, one of those came against the Giants.

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These Giants clinched in game No.152. Of Bochys six NL West division winners, the only one to clinch earlier was his 1998 Padres club. They did it in their 149th game, and then went 4-9 down the stretch. But that didnt seem to make a difference once the playoffs started. They took out the Houston Astros (led by Randy Johnson) and Atlanta Braves (led by Greg Maddux) before bowing to the Yankees in a four-game World Series sweep.

BAGGARLY: Giants knock down doors, resoundingly win NL West

Anyway, point is, Bochy has been in this position before. That should help him understand how to keep this team sharp but rested over these final 10 games.

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Pablo Sandoval, asked to describe these 2012 Giants in oneword:

WORLD SERIES, he said.

To borrow a phrase from acclaimed cinema, Forget it, hesrolling.

After tumultuous 2016, Peavy making kids, not baseball, top priority

After tumultuous 2016, Peavy making kids, not baseball, top priority

The 2016 calendar year was one to forget for former Giants pitcher Jake Peavy.

Before the 2016 season even started, it was revealed that Peavy lost millions in a ponzi scheme.

During the season, the 35-year-old Peavy battled through injuries and posted a 5.54 ERA in 31 appearances for San Francisco.

And then following the season, his wife of 15 years, Katie, filed for divorce.

That, in part, explains why the Alabama-native has yet to sign a contract for the 2017 season.

While the legal matters are being handled, Peavy is taking care of his four sons and has made them his top priority.

Baseball is taking a backseat.

"It hurts not to be in spring training. I know that day is coming, but right now being a dad is absolutely No. 1. There's no way in a million years that I could leave my boys at this time," Peavy told ESPN this week.

Peavy explained in depth how the ponzi scheme affected his life during the past year.

"It turned my whole world upside-down. For the first time ever, it was hard to give my 150 percent focus, time and energy to baseball. It was such a tough year, because everything I have built and played for was jeopardized to some degree. When you've known people your whole life and career and they let you down and they're not who you thought you were, it's devastating.

"It turned me into a person I never wanted to be. People would text me and I'd say, 'What does this person want from me? What's their motive?' I had numerous relationships for 10-15 years with people who let me and my family down in a huge way. You put the blame on yourself in these situations, but I can't even tell you the mindset I was in from the start of spring training through the season," Peavy said.

Peavy also addressed his divorce.

"I'm not shying away from getting divorced. It's not something I'm proud of or something I wanted or asked for, but it happened and I'm dealing with that. But I also have four boys I'm responsible for in life, and I just feel deep down that it's in my best interests and my family's interests to be there through this time," Peavy said.

And while spring training games are underway, Peavy sounds as if he expects to sign with a team eventually. Once he does, he plans to give the team everything he's got.

"When I sign with a team, I'm all in. For me to leave right now with so much uncertainty in my life, it wouldn't be fair to an organization and it wouldn't be the right thing to do as far as being a dad," Peavy said.

In mid-December, Peavy was reportedly linked to the Padres, the team that drafted him in 1999.

 

Bumgarner allows two runs, Giants start spring training with walk-off homer

Bumgarner allows two runs, Giants start spring training with walk-off homer

BOX SCORE

At Scottsdale, Arizona, Chris Marrero hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth and drove in four runs as the Giants rallied after Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs on two hits in the top of the first.

Marrero, a 2006 first-round draft pick of the Nationals trying to revive his career as a non-roster invitee, had an RBI single in the fifth.

Kevin Shackelford, the seventh Cincinnati pitcher, walked Orlando Calixte to open the ninth and Christian Arroyo blooped a single into left field before Marrero hit a line drive over the wall in left centerfield.

Patrick Kivlehan had a two-run single off Bumgarner in the first and Hunter Pence doubled in a run off Reds starter Rookie Davis. Davis, acquired from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal, is likely to open with Double-A Pensacola this year.