Tonight, a showdown in San Francisco could pop the top off of what up until now may have been this year’s most underrated story in sports: the San Francisco Giants clinching an MLB postseason appearance for the first time since the Barry Bonds era.

The lack of Bonds’ bat seems to be getting filled for the time being by left fielder Pat Burrell, who knocked in all the runs the bay area Tall Boys needed to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night along with seven nasty innings from pitcher Tim Lincecum.

Burrell, despite his season .250 batting average, is earning his nickname of
“Pat the Bat” at the most clutch possible time for the Giants in the regular season. 

The Chicago Cubs helped the Giants take care of business by beating the Padres Wednesday night as well with just a single run scored.   

The Giants, currently on a four-game win streak, need only one victory to clinch a playoff spot over the Padres as of Friday night’s game.  If SD wins, the Giants will need to finish their series with two victories to clinch.

Though the Giants are hot and the Padres seem to have fizzled—finding just about every way possible to lose in the last days of the 2010 season—the Giants are expecting a juiced San Diego team to face them Friday night.

“We want San Diego to come in,” said Brian Wilson, the Tall Boys’ closer, to news reporters regarding the game.  “We want to play good baseball and that’s what we’re going to get. That’s the way the story’s been written this year.”

And what a story it might turn out to be; though the playoff picture has been painted in less exciting colors than many MLB writers and bloggers might have liked, you can bet a raucous crowd will be in attendance throughout the series in San Francisco this weekend hoping the tint turns in favor of orange and black.

Expect the media to jump all over the post-Bonds bandwagon should the Giants and their fans get that wish. 

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