Mastersball

The Final Chapter
NL Beat
Written by Christopher Kreush   
Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00

I succeeded in continuing my wretchedly poor record of picking the winners in the postseason by saying the St. Louis Cardinals would defeat the San Francisco Giants and go to the World Series. What made it all the more a lousy prediction was the fact the Cardinals blew a three games to one lead.  We now have the Giants with a two games to none lead over the Detroit Tigers in the final matchup of the season. I’m not going to lie and say I picked the Giants. I actually went with the Tigers to dispatch the Giants fairly easily.

Why did I envision the Tigers coming away with the World Championship? One reason was they had their starting pitching all set up. Justin Verlander would go in Game 1 and could possibly start three games in the series if necessary, albeit on short rest. The Giants, on the other hand, had to start with Barry Zito taking the ball for Game 1 instead of Matt Cain or even Madison Bumgarner. Zito held Detroit to one run in five and two-third innings while Verlander was torched for five runs in only four innings. San Francisco went on to win Game 1, setting up a Bumgarner vs. Doug Fister matchup in Game 2. We now know that Bumgarner didn’t allow a run in seven innings and the Giants scored two late runs to defeat Detroit and take a 2-0 lead despite a good pitching performance by Fister.

San Francisco now has the pitching advantage with Ryan Vogelsong getting the start for Game 3 and ace Cain in line for a Game 4 start to go against Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer. And don’t forget, that’s with a 2-0 lead!

The other reason I picked the Tigers was the combination of Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But the two combined went 2-for-7 with one RBI and no runs scored in Game 1 and 0-for-4 with one walk in Game 2. That’s a total of 2-for-11 with one RBI between the two mashers, which just isn’t going to get it done.

sandoval

On the other hand, Pablo Sandoval cracked three home runs in his first three at-bats (after only a dozen round trippers in the regular season) in Game 1, leading San Fran to an 8-3 drubbing of Verlander and the Tigers. In Game 2, the Giants scratched two late runs to earn a 2-0 victory and a 2-0 series lead.

The series now switches to Detroit for Games 3, 4 and 5 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday after an off-day on Friday. The Tigers are now in a position of having to win all three games at home if they want to win the championship, as I don’t see them winning the last two back on the West Coast. It’s going to be a long, uphill battle for the Tigers and it doesn’t look good at this point. But on the bright side, a Giants World Series victory would give me a perfect oh-for record in my postseason predictions.
 

More Articles by Christopher Kreush

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