The Commish Online www.thecommishonline.com
San Fran Series Sweep
November 1, 2012
A Triple Crown winner and defending MVP and Cy Young winner weren't enough to outduel the team effort of the San Francisco Giants. It was an overwhelming set of pitching performances that propelled the Giants to a sweep over a team with formidable hitters including Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Just as they had all year, the Giants managed to outperform the opposition in a quiet, calculating way, with different heroes along the way.
I use the term "overwhelming" because while San Francisco managed the first back-to-back World Series shutouts by a National League team since the 1919 Reds, the performances didn't exactly seem dominating. Five different pitchers (and Romo twice) were used in the two shutouts, so it was less a case of a starter overpowering the opposition and more a well-managed, well-executed series of consistent pitching and fielding that never allowed Detroit to stage a rally. Credit goes to the entire roster for holding the Tigers to a total of 20 hits and 6 runs over the entire series.
Justin Verlander seemed to get squeezed a little in Game 1 and after surrendering a first inning run, the Tigers never seemed to recover, only leading for a total of 2.5 innings in the series. Zito enacted some personal redemption with a solid performance to get the Game 1 win and, as he and a bullpen-relegated Tim Lincecum have proved, it's important to just keep plugging along in the game of baseball because you never know when you will be needed.
Marco Scutaro echoed the sentiments above by making the most of a late season trade to the Giants, anchoring the middle infield and hitting well above his norm when it mattered most. No recap would be complete without mentioning Pablo Sandoval and his three home runs in Game 1, setting the tone for the consistent drubbing the Giants were able to put on the Tigers in four games. In doing so, Kung Fu Panda immediately put his name on the ballot that includes Vladimir Guerrero for best "bad ball" hitter in the past 20 years.
On Detroit's side, there isn't anything positive that can be said about the offense with Cabrera appearing pedestrian and Fielder only managing to reach first base a mere two times. As they proved during their regular season struggles, if Cabrera and Fielder aren't hitting, there isn't a lot left to lean on. For four games in late October, Bruce Bochy and his team seized the opportunity when others didn't and the result was a second World Series title in three years for San Francisco. It likely won't be the most memorable Series in recent history, but it's something every player and coach wearing the black and orange will never forget.