About an hour or so before Game Four of the World Series, I got hit by a car. I was walking across the street, and a vehicle rolled through a stop sign, and turned right into me. The driver wasn’t going very fast, but the impact was great enough to knock me down. My first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to jump up and down if the San Francisco Giants won the game, which is telling, not only of my poorly ranked priorities, but also the seriousness of the collision.
Nonetheless, I probably should’ve gone to the hospital, but I toughed it out so that I wouldn’t miss my favorite team winning the World Series. The first few innings were fine, but as my right knee began to stiffen up and the dull pain became a little bit more throbbing, I wondered if I might have made a mistake. By the bottom of the ninth, I felt like Omar Infante looked after getting hit in the hand by a pitch from Santiago Cassila.
Worth it. So completely and utterly worth it, as the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in extra innings to complete a World Series sweep with four straight wins over the best that the American League had to offer.
The Giants opened up the scoring in the second inning when Hunter Pence launched a ground rule double to the deepest part of Comerica Park, which was followed by a triple off the bat of Brandon Belt to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead. The Tigers responded in the third inning when a Miguel Cabrera home run with Austin Jackson on base gave Detroit their very first lead of the World Series.
It wouldn’t stand though, as Buster Posey doing his best to legitimatize his MVPosey nickname, hit a two-run homer of his own in the sixth inning, scoring himself and Marco Scutaro. The Tigers answered back in the home half of the inning, tying the game at three with a Delmon Young home run off of Matt Cain’s hanging slider.
It stayed that way until the top of the tenth when Ryan Theriot, a much maligned designated hitter choice, led off the inning with a single off of Phil Coke. After Brandon Crawford used a sacrifice bunt to move Theriot into scoring position, Marco Scutaro hit a liner up the middle to bring the winning run home.
Sergio Romo came into the game in the bottom of the tenth, and shut down the Tigers batters as he’s done all series long, this time striking out all three batters he faced to ensure that the San Francisco Giants won the seventh World Series title in franchise history, and the second championship since moving to California.
The Win Expectancy Graph
Obviously, the final out of the game was the most important. With two out, in the bottom of the tenth, down by a single run, the Detroit Tigers best player went head-to-head against the best reliever on the San Francisco Giants.
Miguel Cabrera struck out looking to Sergio Romo.
Named after Art Shamsky, who single handedly increased the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning by 150.3% in a losing effort during a game in 1966, The Shamsky Award is given to the player on the losing team who contributes the most to them winning.
Although Octavio Dotel recorded the highest win probability added in defeat through his relief efforts in the seventh and eighth innings, we have to go with Delmon Young who hit a solo home run, and was probably the best batter throughout the playoffs for the Detroit Tigers.
The Starting Pitcher Comparison
Bringing Up Buster
Buster Posey has struggled mightily during the postseason. That’s likely explained, at least partially, by how other teams have approached the best player on the San Francisco Giants, and also explained by bad luck. One thing for certain though is that Posey’s struggles haven’t stopped him from taking advantage of mistakes by opponents.
This was first seen in the deciding Game Five of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds when Mat Latos left him a spicy meatball in the middle of the zone that he blasted over the fence for a grand slam. Tonight, Max Scherzer offered the right-handed hitter a change up that didn’t drop nearly as much as the pitcher.
This is what the contact off of Posey’s bat looked like.
He did it for all of us, you guys:
A 1-1 curve ball from Jeremy Affeldt in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Things You Won’t Believe
The starting left fielders for both the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers were signed as Minor League free agents this past off season.
When Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the third inning off of Matt Cain, it represented the very first time that the San Francisco Giants had trailed a game in 57 innings.
The San Francisco Giants are the first team with six triples in a postseason since 1993, when the Toronto Blue Jays hit eight and the Philadelphia Phillies hit six.
When facing Max Scherzer, hitters increase their batting average by 64 points between the second time they see him and the third.
Coming into his at-bat in the tenth inning, Marco Scutaro had 106 swings this postseason. He had missed just twice.
The Awful Thing The Anthem Singer Did
Demi Lovato sang the anthem before Sunday night’s game, and it was terrible. However, it taught me something new.
Because of this disasterpiece, I learned what melisma is. It’s the term used to describe singing a single syllable of text with several notes in succession, like Whitney Houston used to do. It’s likely in the top ten of worst things ever.
I can’t believe that there are people who exist that liked Demi Lovato’s performance of the National Anthem. Heinous.
— Big Sugar Cain (@Fawn_Liebowitz) October 29, 2012
The Awful Thing The Broadcasters Did
So, uh, could anybody tell me if it was cold in Detroit on Sunday night? I didn’t hear about the weather a dozen times each inning at all.
The Awful Thing The Manager Did
While it’s laughable to consider that Ryan Theriot would be counted on as a designated hitter in any game, let alone a potential deciding game in the World Series, his place in Game Four’s lineup was one born out of a lack of viable options. Jim Leyland really doesn’t have the convenience of such an excuse for batting Quintin Berry second in the lineup.
Now, the importance of lineup construction is often overstated, but we’re talking about the same Quintin Berry who put up a .317 wOBA versus right-handed pitchers in 2012. Meanwhile, Andy Dirks had a .379 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this season, and he hit sixth tonight.
You could probably question Bruce Bochy about leaving Matt Cain in the game for the seventh inning, but don’t forget that he was facing the eighth, ninth and first batters in the order. Even if he allows a hit, a worst case scenario brings up Quintin Berry.
The Awful Thing The Baserunner Did
Stop diving head first into first base. Just, stop it. It makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever.
The Jack-O-Lantern Of The Game
The Best Place To Watch The Game That Isn’t Comerica Park
The MVP of the World Series
Pablo Sandoval went 8-for-16, with three home runs over the four game series sweep.
Tweets Of The Game
INSANE CROWN POSEY!
— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) October 29, 2012
I hope delmon celebrates by swimming with piranhas
— Bloggie McBlogger (@yagottagotomo) October 29, 2012
Once more with feeling: Dotel Motel Holiday Inn.
— Amanda Rykoff (@amandarykoff) October 29, 2012
The worst thing about the Cabrera suspension? No Neutral Melk-Dotel matchup in the World Series.
— Mike Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) October 29, 2012
So sad, you guys.
— Karl Welzein (@DadBoner) October 29, 2012
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest that one of the key differences between the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers in the World Series has been defense. I thought about this eight times during the game.
Matt Cain’s slider looked very hittable through most of the game. In the sixth inning, when the wind began blowing toward right field, it made even the measliest of hits look threatening. Every time he threw a breaking pitch, it was terrifying.
Jeremy Affeldt walked Avisail Garcia, struck out Miguel Cabrera, struck out Prince Fielder and struck out Delmon Young. If you told me that Bochy told Affeldt to walk Garcia on purpose so that he could strike out the next three batters, I wouldn’t dismiss it.
Not to be outdone, Tigers reliever Phil Coke struck out the first seven Giants batters that he saw in this series.
I’m off to the hospital, dressed in orange and black.