Going into the postseason, the San Francisco Giants didn’t know what they’d get out of their starters. They figured Matt Cain would be the steady presence he has always been, and allowing no earned runs during the 2010 postseason was a reason to head into Game 1 of the NLDS with extreme confidence.

But what to expect of the other guys? Ryan Vogelsong looked exhausted in late August/early September, Madison Bumgarner looked exhausted starting in late August and never seemed to figure things out before the conclusion of the regular season, Tim Lincecum had the first troubling season of his life, and Barry Zito is Barry Zito.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

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Here is the starter of Game 1 of the World Series, Barry Zito. Zito out-pitched Justin Verlander in a battle of Cy Young winners, taking the phrase “can’t predict ball” to greater heights than anyone thought possible.

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Many thought the Giants might shut Madison Bumgarner down for the rest of 2012, but he started Game 2 of the World Series and pitched his best game in over two months. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bumgarner without this hat on when he isn’t in a Giants uniform. The only thing missing from his parade ensemble was another article of clothing he always seems to wear — a Carhartt shirt.

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The Giants’ best postseason starter in 2012 took the ball in Game 3 and pitched 5.2 scoreless innings. Including the playoffs, Vogelsong pitched 214.1 innings in 2012 after 179.2 in 2011. Before coming back to the Giants last season, Vogelsong had pitched a total of 315 Major League innings.

Also, Vogelsong looked as happy as any of the starters who rode by our spot on Market and McAllister.

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I’ve seen Matt Cain pitch a perfect game and ride down Market during two World Series parades in person. He may be a keeper.

Matt and his wife Chelsea were driven by Alex Smith (Jim Harbaugh was the driver for Brandon Belt), but none of the photos we took showed Smith clearly.

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The loudest cheers I heard were for this guy, who became a reliever during the postseason. Not just a reliever, a dominant multiple-inning force. Tim Lincecum’scareer has been as action-packed as anyone’s over the first six years, and it’s only going to get more interesting.

 

For a look at what some of these guys looked like a couple years ago, I took some photos with my phone from way further back on the sidewalk during the 2010 parade.