Giants Sweep and win 2nd World Series Title in 3 years
I literally can’t believe I’m writing this next sentence but here it goes, the San Francisco Giants are your 2012 World Series Champions. Yes you read that line correctly, the Giants pulled off the seemingly impossible task of taking down the vaunted Detroit Tigers offense and if 4 games no less. If you’ve been reading BayAreaBall’s recaps, you know that I have been targeting the fact that Detroit has been having horrendous at bats and the Giants pitching staff has taken full advantage of it.
In game 4, the Tigers seemed to have gotten some semblance of an approach. They actually scored some runs in this game and seemed like they would be able to put up a fight and maybe take the series to a game 5. The scoring started out early for the Giants when Brandon Belt finally broke out of his playoff slump with a triple off the right field wall scoring Hunter Pence. In the bottom half of the 3rd, Detroit struck back with 2 runs of their own off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera hit and opposite field home run off of a Matt Cain 86 mph change up and looked to change the fortunes of the Tigers.
Cain was able to settle down after that and not allow another Tigers run until the bottom of the 6th when Delmon Young took another Cain off speed pitch to right field in order to tie the game. This was just moments after Buster Posey put the Giants up 1 by hitting his first big hit of the World Series. A one out, 2 run homerun put the Giants up 3-2 at that point and seemingly shifted the momentum back into the San Francisco Dugout.
Even while watching the game, every run the Giants scored seemed to take whatever energy that the Tigers had left out of them. When Young tied the game with a homerun, it just seemed as if the Tigers were granted a momentary reprieve from the Sweep electric chair. To bad the call was made from a cellphone in a shoddy service area and it actually wasn’t the governor calling, it was the mortician making sure he had the right measurements for the casket.
The national audience was treated to a great game of baseball and extra innings at that. The pressure of every pitch ratcheted up the tension but only the Tigers seemed to be feeling it. They knew they were on borrowed time and if they didn’t strike, the Giants were going to. When the game turned into a battle of bullpen’s in the top of the 7th, all the Giants needed to do was wait out the Tigers and wait them out they did.
Jim Leyland started out in bad shape by having to use 2 relievers just to get out of the top half of the 7th inning. He burned through Smyly and Dotel in order to get Ryan Theriot and Angel Pagan out but that played perfectly into the Giants hands. Whereas the Giants were able to ride Cain until the bottom of the 8th and pushing back the relievers just in case the game went extras.
The biggest inning of the game came in the 8th when Jeremy Affeldt was able to retire Cabrera, Fielder, and Young on strike outs with a man aboard. Never more so then the 8th did Affeldt pull out every single pitch in his repetoire in order to get every single one of those guys out. Affeldt took care of Cabrera on 3 pitches, Fielder in 4, and Young in 5. You couldn’t have asked for a more clutch shut down inning then the one that the Giants got out of Affeldt in the 8th.
In the bottom of the 9th, Affeldt did his job again and gets out Andy Dirks swinging and then in comes Santiago Casilla. Who proceeds to break Omar Infante’s hand with a 94 mph fastball and then gets the next hitter Gerald Laird to ground out on the first pitch. You could almost see the Tigers hitters reverting back to their old ways of going after the first pitch no matter where it was. It was almost as if they knew the clock was ticking on their season and couldn’t decide what color wire to snip between the Red and Blue one and instead just cut the black power supply cord which was connected to their plate discipline.
The antithesis of that was the AB’s that the Giants players were going up their and having in the late innings. They looked to have a plan in every plate appearance. It’s hard to explain but it just seemed as if the Giants hitters were just calmer at the plate and when they got their pitch were not hesitating to pull the proverbial trigger. No bigger trigger was puled than the one pulled by “The Blockbuster” Marco Scutaro. Scutaro was facing Phil Coke, who was in his second inning of work, and with 2 outs and the go ahead run on second and a 3-1 count, Coke throws a fastball up in the zone and Scutaro was waiting.
I’m not quite sure if it was clairvoyance on my part but I told my girlfriend before the 3-1 pitch that Scutaro was going to get a hit. She was excited not because she really cared but because she knew she wouldn’t have to sit through any more baseball games. Like during his time with the A’s, Scutaro once again was clutch and drove the 3-1 pitch to center field where Austin Jackson seemed indecisive and let the ball drop in front of him and by the time he came up throwing Theriot was already half way to home plate and the play wasn’t even close.
That final run gave the Giants bullpen all the run support they needed and Sergio Romo came in and struck out the side in order. Romo got the final out by shaking off Posey in a 2-2 count after Cabrera fouled off another slider and threw and 89 mph fastball right down the pipe. He froze Cabrera on the pitch, who was obviously looking for another slider away and sealed the victory for the Giants.
Congratulations to the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.
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