Marco Scutaro looked up through the pouring rain, caught Matt Holliday’s popup for the final out and punched his ticket to the World Series for the 1st time at age 36.
In an NL championship series that saw Scutaro absorb a hard and admitted late slide from Holliday that strained the 2nd baseman’s left hip, what a fitting ending.
Scutaro tied the NLCS record with 14 hits to earn MVP honors, capping off his remarkable run with 3 singles and a walk in San Francisco’s 9-0 success over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night in the decisive Game Seven.
After the kind of series he had, Scutaro came through in nearly every way possible.
He batted .500 with 2 walks, scored 6 runs and drove in 4. Hideki Matsui (2004 Yankees), Albert Pujols (2004 Cardinals) and Kevin Youkilis (2007 Red Sox) also had 14 hits in an LCS, and Scutaro’s 10-game hitting streak ties Cody Ross and Alvin Dark for the longest in Giants postseason history. Football scores
The Giants acquired the Venezuelan native in July at the trade deadline. It turned out to be one of baseball’s best moves, and simply one of its most overlooked.
While the rival Dodgers’ spending splurge made headlines from coast-to-coast, the Giants took on just $2.1 million of Scutaro’s salary from Colorado in exchange for minor leaguer Charlie Culberson.
All Scutaro has done since is make opponents pay – and he earned a $75,000 bonus for winning NLCS MVP honors in the process.
He had a heavy impact even before October, batting .339 after the All-Star break to power the Giants’ playoff push. Scutaro has delivered in the biggest moments in the postseason, and in some ways, has become the 2012 version of Ross.
Scutaro became just the 5th midseason acquisition to win a postseason MVP award.
”When we purchased Scutaro, a great job by Brian Sabean, making that blockbuster deal, as we say, that’s his nickname,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy asserted. ”I knew he was a good player. But to see him day in, day out, you actually appreciate the talent this guy has. I do not know if it was possible for him to raise his game, that’s how well he’s played, his level. But he probably did after that slide.”
Scutaro was hurt on Holliday’s slide in the 1st inning of Game Two. Scutaro got even a few innings later with his very own big blow that helped the San Francisco Giants even the series and end an 0-3 home slide in the postseason when he singled home 2 runs in San Francisco’s 4-run 4th inning.
Another run scored on the bases-loaded hit when Holliday misplayed the bouncing ball in left field. Scutaro left after the 5th of that 7-1 win due to his damaged hip on a play Bochy felt was illegal.
Scutaro never missed a game, and he never stopped played all-out, either.
His sliding stops were a part of a spectacular defensive effort that backed Barry Zito in San Francisco’s 5-0 Game Five victory. He even threw his arms in the arm running backward after grabbing Pete Kozma’s spinning hopper in the 4th inning of Game Seven.