The Giants had just completed a 3-7 homestand and watched their division lead all but evaporate. They embarked on a trip to Colorado from Aug. 3-5, and the way they dismantled the Rockies proved more significant than anyone could have imagined.
"We came off a tough homestand, and we had to get our act together," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said prior to Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday. "They did in that series and played very well, and it just got contagious."
San Francisco tallied 35 runs in the three-game sweep, and including that series, the Giants went 22-9 on the road the remainder of the regular season. That momentum away from AT&T Park hasn't vanished, as the Giants have forged a 4-2 mark on the road in the playoffs, with all four victories coming in elimination games.
"These guys have been very good at being road warriors," Bochy said. "For a team to have a good year, you need to play pretty good ball on the road, and these guys have done it."
Of course, now the Giants are in a bit of unchartered territory. San Francisco has yet to don its visiting uniforms while boasting a series lead. The Giants dropped the first two tilts by the bay in the National League Division Series before claiming all three contests in Cincinnati to advance to the NL Championship Series. The Reds hadn't lost three consecutive games at Great American Ball Park all season. In the NLCS, the Giants fell behind the Cardinals, 3-1, before capturing a critical Game 5 victory at Busch Stadium.
Whether the Giants are more comfortable in their friendly confines or in the visitor's dugout, one thing is certain: They wouldn't mind finishing off their business in Detroit.
"We're definitely not taking this 2-0 for granted," said Game 3 starter Ryan Vogelsong. "We want to come here and play the type of baseball that we've been playing over the last six days, and try and win as soon as possible. They're a dangerous team over there."