The national media has continued to count the San Francisco Giants out, but despite their proclamations and predictions – the Giants wont die. In fact – it’s the complete opposite as they’re on the verge of sweeping the Detroit Tigers for their second World Series victory in just three years.
Ryan Vogelsong was fantastic yet again and although not nearly as dynamite as he was in past starts, the Giants’ postseason ace was certainly effective as he battled through 5.2 innings of work before being relieved by Tim Lincecum. It was Vogelsong’s seventh straight start where he allowed one earned run or less.
The Giants opened the scoring in the second inning thanks to a leadoff walk from Hunter Pence. The mid-season acquisition stole second on a Brandon Belt strikeout and then advanced to third moments later on a wild pitch. A deep triple from Gregor Blanco brought in Pence and Blanco himself scored two batters later after Brandon Crawford dropped a line drive at the feet of Tiger outfielder Austin Jackson.
The bullpen (namely Tim Lincecum) held the lead for Ryan Vogelsong, throwing 3.1 innings of shutout ball as the Giants now sit twenty-seven outs away from a World Championship.
VogelSTRONG – I don’t even know what to say about Ryan Vogelsong – the guy is pitching like he’s in a video game. Actually, you couldn’t even do what he’s done in a video game. As mentioned above, this was Vogelsong’s seventh (SEVENTH!!!) straight game of allowing one earned run or less and he currently sports a playoff ERA of 1.09. More than that, Vogelsong was the elected party to get the Giants off the elimination ropes in both Cincinnati and against St. Louis – no small task. Vogey joins Christy Mathewson as the only pitchers to start their careers with four straight postseason starts of 5+ IP with one run or fewer allowed. It’s been a storybook playoff run for a storybook player who is one win away from a storybook ending.
The Freak Comes Out At Night – It was a rough season for the Freak but Tiny Tim is making sure to close it on a positive note, looking as dominant as ever in his relief appearances this postseason. Lincecum made his fifth relief appearance of October and again looked every part of his former Cy Young winning-self as he breezed through the Tiger lineup – now having thrown 13 innings of one run ball out of the ‘pen. His lone start was poor, but as a relief arm, he’s been nothing short of the nasty Lincecum we’ve all grown so accustom to. It’s been a team contribution to get where they’re at, but there’s no doubt Lincecum’s fantastic postseason (other than his lone start) has been an intricate part to the Giants’ postseason success.
Rarefied Air – When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, it was all about pitching. This year, the team was more balanced – especially later in the year as a handful of the big name starting arms were struggling – even into the postseason. The Giants gave up fourteen runs in the first two games of the postseason to the Reds but went on lockdown mode after that, especially lately as the Giants have now given up 0, 1, 0, 3, 0 and 0 runs since the Game 6 elimination versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Seriously – four runs in six games. Amazing. It’s been a team effort, top to bottom, to get where the Giants are at – but the pitching has been nothing short of phenomenal.
The Giants, behind Matt Cain, will try to bring home the World Series hardware tomorrow evening as they go for the series sweep. And no, I wont be sleeping either. MORE CAFFEINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!