DETROIT -- Excuse me. Did all of that really just happen?

Apparently it did. I see the Giants on the field, celebrating. I see Angel Pagan in center field, dropping to his knees in celebration. I see Marco Scutaro, the second baseman, making the sign of the cross. I see a dogpile on the pitchers' mound. I see a "panda" hugging everyone in sight and holding up a Most Valuable Player award.

So, yes, the Giants really did sweep the Detroit Tigers and win the World Series here Sunday night. The final game went extra innings, with a 4-3 victory for the Giants on a lengthy and protracted and rainy night of baseball.

So why, if the night was so long and time-consuming, did the series itself seem like such a blur?

Probably because the whole thing lasted only five days and four games, a blink of an eye after such a long season.

Probably because no more than 10 days earlier, the Giants were on the verge of elimination in the National League Championship Series and were trailing the St. Louis Cardinals, three games to one. But they clawed back and ground out three straight victories to reach the World Series.

Probably because, as Game 4 starting pitcher Matt Cain said in a break from the locker room celebration, no one expected that beating Detroit would be over this quickly and handily.

"With that Tigers lineup and what they've done this season, I definitely thought it was going to be down to the wire," Cain said. "It just so happened that we got hot and scored runs at the right time and won some close games."


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That oversimplifies what happened. But it was definitely an accurate assessment. And it happened so quckly, the massive baseball brain of manager Bruce Bochy barely had time to break a sweat -- unlike the Giants' World Series champions of 2010, which famously required Bochy to endure many games of "torture" from so much tense maneuvering.

"I'm numb, really," Bochy said. "The fact we've won two World Series in the last three years. ... I'm kind of speechless on that."

The big picture wasn't hard to understand, however. The Giants had an almost entirely new everyday lineup from 2010, but the pitching was largely the same. And the Giants are a team built on pitching. Those arms hit a rough patch late in the season, and those pitchers seemed to look weary.

But when October arrived, those very same arms -- and give pitching coach Dave Righetti credit for maneuvering them into position properly -- kicked into a different gear. And they mowed down some of the game's best batters, inning after inning.

San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo (54) celebrates the team’s World Series sweep at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sunday.
San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo (54) celebrates the team's World Series sweep at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sunday. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

Consider: Until the third inning Sunday night, the Tigers had not taken a lead in the entire series. The Giants pitchers threw back-to-back shutouts in Games 2 and 3. It constituted the first time a National League pitching staff had achieved such a thing in a World Series since the 1919 Cincinnati Reds -- who, of course, were facing the Chicago Black Sox in a fixed series. So you could say this was the first time such a dominant team pitching performance ever took place when all the opposing batters were trying their best.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland was gentlemanly in defeat and willing to concede the Giants' awesomeness.

"They were better than we were," Leyland said, "and you can't say anything different. I mean, if it goes seven games and you lose the seventh game on a freak play or something, you might say, well, we were as good as they were. But in this series, we were not as good as they were. The Giants beat us. They did a fantastic job. They're the world champions and they deserve to be the world champions."

There had to be enough hitting, too, of course. And the series Most Valuable Player, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, provided the three home runs in Game 1 to set the tone against the Tigers. Timely hits won the other three games.

"The right time," Sandoval said. "It came down to the right time."

That phrase also defined Scutaro, who arrived in midseason in such a low-key trade that he was ironically nicknamed "The Blockbuster" by his teammates. Throughout the playoff run, Scutaro seemed to drive in every key run and be involved in every key play. Naturally, he drove in the Series-winning run Sunday.

Why didn't Detroit put up a better fight? Don't ask Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers' top slugger and American League Triple Crown winner -- for having the best batting average, most home runs and most runs batted in during the regular season -- is still standing out there at home plate, looking at the called third strike that ended Sunday's game.

That final out, in the bottom of the 10th inning, personified how the Giants handled the Tigers, leaving them baffled and mortified and beaten. Cabrera faced a two-strike pitch from Giants reliever Sergio Romo -- and yet, knowing he represented the last possible gasp for the Tigers, there in the batters' box, Cabrera chose to stare at an 89 mph fastball that was clearly in the strike zone.

"He's not afraid," Bochy said of Romo. "He knew that Cabrera was looking for a slider, and he went with the fastball, just located it right there."

And just like that, the Giants were also located in rare air. After waiting 52 years to win a World Series title in San Francisco following the franchise's move west from New York, the Giants have taken two of the last three championships, this one even easier than the last.

Did all of that really happen? There will be a parade. There will be a trophy at the parade. It happened.