Monday, October 29, 2012

The Giants are World Champions Again

For the second time in just three years, the San Francisco Giants are World Champions.

Finishing the season with a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, they ended a seven-game win streak with a championship title.  The Giants outscored the Tigers 16-6 in those four games, with outstanding starting pitching performances from Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain.

I was hunkered down for a great series between these two, predicting the Fall Classic would go at least six games.  The Tigers also featured usually dominant pitchers in Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, but the baseball gods denied the Tigers yet another title.  Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera never found their grove, and by the time Cabrera started up -- blasting a two-run bomb in Game 4 -- it was too little, too late.

Pablo Sandoval earned MVP honors, mostly stemming from his record-tying three home run performance in Game 1, not to mention his .500 average.  That NLCS momentum the Giants carried into the World Series was ultimately too much to handle for the Tigers, who had been sitting around after their sweep of the Yankees in the ALCS.

The way the Tigers performed, roaring back -- pun intended -- at the end of the regular season, then stifling a white hot A's team before sweeping the 5-to-1 favorite New York Yankees made them seem like a perfect match-up for the Giants.  Having already stopped a team with that much momentum in Oakland, it was strange to see how they played against another team with the same "advantage."  Any day of the week, if you give me Verlander vs. Zito, my money would be on Verlander.  Cabrera vs. Marco Scutaro? Cabrera, and I'd bet the farm on it.

But now that the World Series is over, we can look back on this postseason for another list of why baseball is the greatest sport under the sun.

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