While the Giants were busy breaking a record and beating the Red Sox 7-6 in 15 innings Tuesday night, their Triple-A affiliate was winning another title.
The Sacramento River Cats already took home the crown of Pacific Coast League champions this season. Now, they can add an even bigger trophy to their mantle.
Instead of a series, one game decides who is the king of Triple-A baseball. That title now belongs to the River Cats after they beat the Columbus Clippers, 4-0, in the Triple-A National Championship.
Sacramento became the first franchise to have three Triple-A National Championship titles. It's the first time the River Cats have done so as an affiliate of the Giants.
“It feels great,” River Cats manager Dave Brundage said to the Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson after the win. “They played their hearts out.”
Brundage deserves all the credit in the world for the title. This season was a marathon, to the say the least, for him and his entire staff. The River Cats played 146 games and dealt with 319 player transactions.
That's right, 319.
In a world where Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is willing to make any move and use a player's minor league options whenever necessary, the River Cats will have to deal with plenty of changes to their roster as long he's in charge. Caleb Baragar, the game's winning pitcher, is a prime example.
When the Richmond Flying Squirrels -- the Giants' Double-A affiliate -- saw their season end without a trip to the playoffs, Baragar thought he could finally take break. Wrong. Baragar was added to the River Cats' roster for the playoffs and ended up being a hero.
The 25-year-old right-hander pitched five shutout innings Tuesday night while allowing just two hits and striking out five batters. He was named MVP of the game for his valiant effort.
"I saw a young man who wasn’t scared,” Brundage said to Baseball America. "Sometimes you’re not sure. Is the moment too big? The moment wasn’t too big against Vegas. He was even better tonight.”
In a year of constant shuffle for San Francisco and Sacramento alike, the River Cats came out on top with a ring. The Giants hope they too can soon do the same.