Are you ready for Game 4 and a potential sweep? Will Giants’ all-time single postseason record holder in hits Pablo Sandoval put his name on the list of the best postseasons ever?
Game 3 of the World Series went to the San Francisco Giants over the Detroit Tigers and they now lead 3-0. This was the second game in a row that the Giants shutout the Tigers and both by the score 2-0. This matches the same amount of times the Tigers were shutout in the entire regular season. Once again the Giants relied on great pitching, fantastic defense and timely hitting to get themselves to within one win of their 2nd World Series Championship in three years.
No World Series team that has fallen behind 0-3 has ever come back to win the World Series. This does not bode well for the Tigers but they are not counting themselves out just yet. If there is a team that respects the fact that no lead is insurmountable, it’s the Giants. Don’t expect the Giants to take tonight’s game for granted, they will remain loose as they have the whole year and they will be out there trying as hard as they can to win it all tonight. One win is all they need as they have truly reached the final stretch.
Photograph courtesy of Christian Acosta
Ryan Vogelsong pitched very well and relied on some great defense and double plays to get out of jams after giving up 5 hits and 4 walks over 5 2/3. Vogelsong just refused to give up that one hit to open it up for the Tigers much like he did in the 5th inning. With the bases loaded and one out he was able to strike out Quintin Berry to bring up the Triple Crown achieving Miguel Cabrera. The guy who should be named the American League’s 2012 MVP has struggled this postseason and it continued as Vogelsong was able to get him to pop out to short to end the 5th.
Vogelsong allowed runners to reach in the 6th inning but Bochy felt it was time to replace him this time around, instead of hoping he would escape another jam. Vogelsong looked upset as Bochy came out. He obviously felt he had the stuff to get out of the 6th. Instead he was replaced by Tim Lincecum who would come on to get the final out of the inning. Lincecum was stellar once again as he allowed one walk over 2/13 while striking out three to get the game to the 9th.
Sergio Romo came on to start the 9th inning and the Giants had a little scare as Johnny Peralta stepped in to lead it off. The 7th pitch from Romo was smacked to left field and right away it looked like he had a chance to cut the lead in half. As the cameras switched to follow the ball it looked as though the ball would definitely not be a homer but would end up as a long foul ball. The camera could not follow the ball to the ground as Gregor Blanco entered the shot with the stands getting in the way. When the camera switched views again you could see that Blanco had made a great play to catch the ball in the heel of his glove for out number one. From there Romo was perfect getting his second save of the World Series as he struck Omar Infante to end the game.
Blanco wasn’t the only one making a fine defensive play as Brandon Crawford showed off his glove making a great dive to rob Cabrera of a would be hit in the 8th. Blanco and Crawford would also be responsible for both of the Giants RBI’s. After Pence led off the 2nd inning with a walk, he was able to steal second base as Brandon Belt struck out for the first out of the inning. Blanco was able to drive a ball to right-center that neither center fielder Austin Jackson or Right Fielder Andy Dirks could not track down. The speedy Blanco tripled to score Pence and appeared as though he may end up stranded there as Hector Sanchez struck out next. Crawford then stepped in and on the third pitch he singled to center to score Blanco to complete all of the run scoring for the game.
Pablo Sandoval continued to show why he is the strongest contender for World Series MVP as he singled in the 1st inning and then doubled in the 8th inning. The Panda would finish 2-for-4 in Game 3 and is now hitting .636 in batting average with an amazing 2.212 OPS for the series. Although they do not give out a postseason MVP and even though Scutaro and Vogelsong have been great, Pablo has had the best postseason. He has 23 hits thus far and is just 2 hits shy of the single postseason record shred by Darin Erstad, David Freese and Marquis Grissom. He is also 2 homers shy of the single postseason record of 8 shared by Barry Bonds, Nelson Cruz and Carlos Beltran. On a whole, Pablo has been stellar defensively and is currently at a .377 BA and a 1.154 OPS with 6 homers, 5 doubles, 9 runs and 13 RBI’s the entire postseason.
For the Giants to win it all and for Pablo to etch his name along with some of the greatest postseason heroes of the modern era, they will have to best Max Scherzer who was 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA this year. Pablo has seen Scherzer before and is 2-for-8 with a homer in 9 career plate appearances against him. The other guys to watch who have had good success against Scherzer in their careers are Marco Scutaro (4-for-9) and Blanco (3-for-5 with a double).
The Giants will send their horse, their ace Matt Cain to the mound. Cain has gotten the win in each of the Giants’ clinching game. He go the win in Game 5 of the NLDS and Game 7 of the NLCS so he seems well suited for his role in tonight’s game as a potential series clincher. The Tigers are looking to get their dormant bats up and it will be up to Cain to keep them sleeping until next year.
by Raul Rekow Jr.