Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer –
The San Francisco Giants gave the Detroit Tigers a dose of their own medicine in this year’s World Series. That’s right, the Giants swept them in four straight games to win their second World Series title in three years.
Behind stellar performances from their pitching staff, the Giants held the Tigers’ hitters to 20 hits, 36 strikeouts, and yielded only five extra-base hits.
The Tigers, who ran into a complete juggernaut, hit .101 in the series. The inconsistent hitting prevented Detroit from building any kind of momentum. When playing a team that can pitch like San Francisco can, offenses need to be at their best. In this case, the Tigers’ bats didn’t even show up. In baseball, a good defense always beats a good offense and the Giants proved that statement true.
Game 1: (SF) Barry Zito vs. (DET) Justin Verlander. SF: 8 DET: 3
In five and two-thirds innings pitched, Zito surrendered one run off of six hits and three strikeouts. Thanks to the Giants’ third baseman, Pablo Sandoval and his three-homer performance, Verlander, who surrendered two Sandoval blasts, only lasted four innings while giving up six hits (five earned).
The Tigers long layoff from the ALCS to the World Series is no excuse for why they were defeated. Even if momentum was lost, with a potent lineup the Tigers possess, the Giants’ pitching simply held them in check to set the tone early in the Series.
Game 2: (SF) Madison Bumgarner vs. (DET) Doug Fister. SF: 2 DET: 0
The struggling Bumgarner, who went into game two with an ERA above 11, performed like he hadn’t given up an earned run all year. In seven solid innings of work, Bumgarner accumulated eight strikeouts while only allowing two hits.
Fister proved to be a tough adversary. In six innings pitched, Fister allowed six total hits and struck out three batters. His troubles came in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, the Giants’ Brandon Crawford grounded into a double play that allowed Hunter Pence to score from third. Again, clutch hitting and solid pitching accounted for the Giants victory.
Game 3: (SF) Ryan Vogelsong vs. (DET) Anibal Sanchez. SF: 2 DET: 0
Despite the series shifting from San Francisco to Detroit, the Giant’s momentum carried over as Vogelsong delivered a shutout performance. In five innings of work, Vogelsong struck out three and allowed just five hits.
Sanchez pitched well for Detroit: In seven innings, Sanchez accumulated eight strikeouts. Thanks to Gregor Blanco, his triple in the second inning along with Crawford’s RBI single gave the Giants a slim 2-0 lead and they didn’t look back.
Game 4: (SF) Matt Cain vs. (DET) Max Scherzer. SF: 4 DET: 3
What a way to cap off a sweep in the World Series. With the score tied 3-3 from the sixth inning, the game went into extras. In the bottom of the tenth, a hero was born. The Giants’ designated hitter, Ryan Theriot, led off the inning with a single to right field. The next batter, Crawford, moved Theriot to second base after executing a perfect sacrifice bunt. Tigers pitcher Phil Coke proceeded to strikeout Angel Pagan to get the second out of the inning. With a runner 180 feet from scoring, the Giants’s Marco Scutaro stepped into the batter’s box and delivered the go-ahead single into center field. Giants closer Serigo Romo did his part in the bottom of the tenth by striking out the side, to ultimately crown San Francisco World Series Champions.