DETROIT, October 29, 2012 — The Halloween World Series is over. San Francisco hopped on their brooms after a Bay Area sweep while the nightmare came to an inglorious end for Detroit.
With Hurricane Sandy battering the East Coast, the perfect storm barreled into Detroit as San Francisco rode a tidal wave of momentum to their second World Series championship in three years.
In a bitterly cold, sometimes misty night, it ended in the bottom of the tenth in the only game that was ever in doubt when Sergio Romo got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera on a called third strike. It was an exclamation point to a Series in which the Giants totally dominated except for a two-inning stretch in game four.
Pitching and defense are always the keys to winning playoff baseball, but with the come-from-behind NLCS against St. Louis it appeared the Tigers had the edge on the mound. Their regular rotation was set while the Giants were forced to adjust. Combined with Detroit’s potent offense with a Cabrera/Fielder one-two punch, the pre-Series speculation was that it would just be a formality for Detroit.
For the Tigers the five-day layoff after sweeping the Yankees was regarded as a possible negative, plus the fact that they did not play well on the road during the regular season. Still, they had Justin Verlander on the mound for Game One and all they needed was a split to regain the home field advantage.
In the end it was sharp Giants pitching, though Detroit matched San Francisco in that category in every game but the opener, and stellar defense. Though Cabrera and Fielder never provided the anticipated punch, there were several plays throughout the Series where the Giants stifled Detroit’s sluggers with defensive gems.
Hot hitting Marco Scutaro provided the killing blow in the tenth with a single to right-center with two outs that scored Ryan Theriot with the winning run. Scutaro was a key addition to the Giants lineup in midseason when he was acquired from Colorado.
As they did in their final seven-playoff games, all of which San Francisco won, the Giants scored first in the second inning when Hunter Pence hit a ground rule double and scored on a triple by Brandon Belt.
After twenty straight scoreless innings, Detroit finally broke through to take their first and only lead in the Series when Austin Jackson walked and Miguel Cabrera lifted a wind-aided home run to right center. The Tigers were on top 2-1 and looked to be regaining some of their pre-Series swagger.
The revelry was short-lived however. Marco Scutaro reached for the Giants on an infield single in the top of the sixth before Buster Posey put them back in the lead with a home run to left.
Delmon Young tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a home run for the Tigers. After that the 3-3 game went to the tenth before San Francisco ended it on Scutaro’s single.
The Panda, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, was named Series MVP. Most of that was due to his three home run performance in Game One, which added further momentum to an already surging Giants team. Perhaps more significant, those less publicized, was Sandoval’s defense which robbed the Tigers of several hits at key moments that could have changed the course of the Series.
It wasn’t a Series that would capture the imagination of many, except the loyal fans in San Francisco, but the pitching for both teams and the defense for the Giants made every game not only interesting but exciting.
Now it’s time to fire up the hot stove and let the Panda hibernate until spring.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC. Taylor played professional baseball for four years including two seasons under Hall of Fame manager, Sparky Anderson. He played all 29-innings of the longest continuous professional baseball game in history. He was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 70 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries.
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