Going deep in playoffs? | TheUnion.com

Going deep in playoffs?

After watching Giants’ closer Brian Wilson strike out the Padres’ Will Venable to clinch the National League West Sunday, Sherri Mass said she had little doubt before the series started that San Francisco would win.

“I think losing three in a row would be pretty rare (with the way the Giants were playing),” Mass said as she watched her favorite team celebrate on the TV above her at Cirino’s at Main Street. Besides, the former Bay Area native who now lives in Grass Valley, had her brother-in-law at the game.

“They’re an awesome team with awesome fans,” Mass said.

With the Giants clinching a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season, they’ll play the Atlanta Braves in a best-of-five series starting Thursday at AT&T Park.

Mass and other happy Giants’ fans watching Sunday’s game with rapt attention sounded generally confident that the team’s pitching could carry the team past the Braves and possibly into the World Series.

“I think they have a chance to go deep,” said Jon Asbell, a bartender at Cirino’s. The Braves are “slumping,” so San Francisco should be able to get past them, he added.

“If their pitching holds up and they don’t get overconfident, they’ll win,” Mass said of the series against the Braves.

It was other aspects of the Giants’ game, in addition to pitching, that came together Sunday to make them a formidable foe for any team, said Dave Hughes of Grass Valley.

“They’re tight (playing well) right now,” Hughes said. “When they’re tight, they’re right.”

Specifically, Hughes said the team played great defense and the offense came through in the clutch during Sunday’s clinching game.

“I think the Braves will give them a fight, but not as big as the Padres,” Hughes said.

Chad Easthouse of Grass Valley wasn’t as confident as the others that the Giants would advance deep into the playoffs.

“The Giants have a tendency of going dormant on offense,” he said. “So that’s definitely a concern.”

But he came back to the team’s pitching like most observers do.

“They have a great pitching staff and they say great pitching beats great hitting,” Easthouse said.

Asbell and a few patrons discussed who might be included in a likely smaller playoff pitching rotation. Despite, Barry Zito’s struggles in the past couple months, he said he thought Zito could be the fourth man in the rotation. Then, he conceded he’s glad it’s not his decision to make.

Mass looked up at the TV and told a friend sitting next to her: “I wish I was there.”

“I love the thrill,” Mass said.

Contact Sports Writer Greg Moberly via e-mail at gmoberly@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4234.

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