The San Francisco Giants took a major step toward winning their second Word Series title in three years after Saturday’s win gave them a 3-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers. Champagne could be flowing with another strong performance from Matt Cain tonight.
So, how have the Giants moved within one victory of winning the World Series? Now that the Tigers are down three games to none, let’s take a look at why the Giants will win this World Series, whether they win tonight or in seven.
Pitching. This postseason, the team has combined for a 2.89 ERA and is averaging 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings. If it wasn’t for pitchers Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong, the Giants would be at home, watching the Tigers and Cardinals in the World Series. Vogelsong has been lights out, and last night he delivered another gem. In four postseason outings, he has a 1.09 ERA and 21 strikeouts. Zito not only surprised the baseball world this season by earning 15 regular-season wins, but he surprised manager Bruce Bochy. Bochy decided to add Zito to the lineup, giving him his first postseason start in six years. With a 1.69 ERA, Zito has pitched 16 postseason innings, all meaningful. It’s well known the Tigers have one of the best starting rotations in the MLB, but their hitters have not been able to score.
Hitting. It’s safe to say if the Giants weren’t hitting like they are, they wouldn’t even be in the World Series, let alone have a 3-0 lead. The main man this postseason is Marco Scutaro. You cannot praise him enough. In the NLCS, he made history by tying an LCS record with 14 hits. Amazingly enough, Scutaro also had three doubles. The pitchers got in on the action, as Cain and Zito both had hits and RBIs. The most comforting thing for Bochy is Ryan Theriot. His last appearance he went 2-for-3 with an eye-popping three RBIs. If Brandon Belt continues to slump, which he has been doing this whole postseason, Bochy can put Theriot in his spot. Pablo Sandoval, who became only the fourth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a World Series game, is batting .636 with seven hits.
Then you have the Tigers. As a team, they are batting a mere .165 this World Series, and have only scored three runs. Delmon Young is the only man producing. Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, is not looking like himself at all. This postseason, Cabrera is batting .267, but get this: He only has one home run. For the average player, one home run during the postseason would be success, but for a man like Cabrera, who had 44 this season, it’s a failure. Prince Fielder, who batted above .300 this season was destined to have a good postseason, right? Wrong. With only nine hits this whole postseason, his average is a low .188. Although, he does have three RBIs and a home run.
Mental. The Giants have already taken three games, giving them not only the upper hand physically, but mentally. It’s well known that this game of ball and bat is a mass overload of brains and strategy. Now, with a 3-0 lead over the Tigers, if the Giants are a game away from heading back to San Francisco with the Word Series Trophy.
Coaching. Bochy will go down as one of the best managers in the history of MLB. But there’s a reason behind that. Bochy does not hesitate to take a pitcher out if he believes he can’t control the outcome anymore. For example: Zito was throwing one of the best games of his life on Thursday, but he only went 6.6 innings. Why? Because Bochy sensed Zito was slowing down and getting sloppy, and he was. The Giants relievers can get the job done, too, and that’s exactly what is going to have to happen if the Giants want to win it all.
All in all, the San Fran Giants are looking at winning the World Series for the second time in three years. If they pull this off, they would become the only team to do this since the New York Yankees did it in ’96 and ’98.
What do you think of the Giants chances at winning it all? Comment your thoughts!