The San Francisco Giants looked all but finished facing a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-five series against what was considered to be one of the National League’s best – the Cincinnati Reds in the division series. Now they are World Series champions for the second time in three years.
The Giants were able to sweep the powerhouse Detroit Tigers out of the Motor City, including Triple Crown winner (an individual who leads his league in home runs, batting average and runs batted in) Miguel Cabrera in just four games. Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, was virtually nonexistent throughout the series thanks to almost perfect pitching and outstanding defense by the Giants. The Giants held the Tigers and Cabrera to only six runs in the series and also had two shutouts to a team that was only shut out twice during the entire regular season.
One of the reasons for San Francisco’s dominating defense was rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford, who played excellent in between second and third base. The MVP of the series was Pablo Sandoval, who hit three home runs in his first three at bats against Justin Verlander, the Tiger’s ace who had established himself as the greatest pitcher in the league. Verlander only got one start in the World Series and had a very subpar performance, allowing five runs and leaving the game in the fourth inning of Game One. On the other hand, the Giants starting pitching was almost unhittable, with the combination of Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain, who clinched the series for the Giants. The Giants’ starting pitchers only gave up four runs throughout the series. The Giants bullpen was also magnificent, with former Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum pitching in relief, and closer Sergio Romo filling in for the injured Brian Wilson.
The big bats for the Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder – did not show up when the games counted the most. Fielder, who had an especially lackluster performance, was only able to hit an extremely low .071 batting average, the lowest he had in any series this postseason. The Giants won seven straight games to close out the playoffs, starting with a 3-1 deficit facing the previous World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers had the table turned on them, being swept by the Giants just after they swept the New York Yankees in the American League Conference finals.
The Giants, who manufactured runs all series, were the beneficiaries of an extra-inning win to clinch the championship bringing the pennant back to San Francisco.
Wesley Watson is a sophomore at Lancaster High School.