World Series: Giants Look To Sweep Tigers For 2nd Title In 3 Years
For San Francisco, the postseason has been nothing short of remarkable. The team is displaying its unrivaled talents and versatility by making history in almost every field.
First it was tenacity: overcoming once insurmountable deficits and surviving on a game-by-game basis. The Giants became the first team in NLDS history to stage a comeback in a five-game series after being down two games to none.
They displayed their offensive power: Pablo Sandoval joined the baseball elite when he hit three home runs in a single World Series game, a feat only ever accomplished four other times by three players: Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols.
And now, the team is flexing its muscles by demonstrating its defensive capabilities. In a stellar Game 3 performance, the Giants became the first team to win the first three games of a World Series with starting pitchers recording the victory and allowing no more than one run since the 1937 Yankees.
With a 2-0 win Saturday night, the Giants also became the first team to pitch consecutive shutouts in a World Series since the 1966 Orioles. It’s also worth mentioning that the Giants accomplished this feat against a team that was shut out only twice during the entire regular season (the Tigers have been shut out three times this postseason: twice by the Giants and once by the A's in the ALDS).
The Giants notched their sixth straight postseason win by playing their signature style of ball: pairing clutch hitting with flawless pitching. With a staff as downright cruel as the Giants' has been, two runs was more than sufficient.
Hunter Pence drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the second inning, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He would later score on an RBI-triple to deep right field by left fielder Gregor Blanco. Shortstop Brandon Crawford knocked in the final run of the night with an RBI single.
But it was really the Giant pitching staff that, once again, did all the heavy lifting. Ryan Vogelsong, one of the team’s relatively unsung heroes, pitched 5.2 scoreless innings despite a couple of threats including a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning. Vogelsong fanned Quintin Berry and, in what may end up being a pivotal at-bat in the Series, elicited a pop up from Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
Manager Bruce Bochy handled his bullpen with the same formula that has been unbeatable thus far: a one-two punch from his newest reliever Tim Lincecum and go-to closer Sergio Romo. Lincecum threw 2.1 hitless innings and Romo added his second save of the series.
In the last six games, Giant starting pitching has posted a 0.47 ERA and, as a team, outscored opponents, 32-4. In other words, they’ve been unstoppable.
The Giants will be heading into their seventh elimination game Sunday evening, but this time they have the upper hand. So far, they have a perfect 6-0 record in those kinds of games.
It took the Giants five of five games to win the NLDS and seven of seven games to win the NLCS. It seems strange to think that they might win it all in only four.