Sunday, October 28, 2012

World Series Game 3 - Vogelsong's Moment

This time, the Giants scored its 2 runs early on and depended on Vogelsong and Lincecum to hold off the Tigers for a 2nd shocking shutout.  Again, Detroit had been shut-out only twice in 162 games and now the Giants had done it back to back..... in the World Series.  Unbelievable.

Ryan Vogelsong gave up no extra-base hits and obviously no runs in a strong 5.2 inning performance.  2 years ago, he could not have imagined getting a win in the World Series.  After being drafted by the Giants in '98, he was traded for Jason Schmidt in '01.  He had Tommy John surgery before 3 mediocre season with the Pirates.  He then played 3 humbling years in Japan for 2 teams before coming back to MLB and getting cut twice by another two teams.  He then played winter ball in Venezuela at the end of 2010 and had some sort of epiphany.  He signed on with the Giants before 2011 and it was an immediate turnaround.  He was named to the 2011 Allstar game and finished the season with the lowest ERA of any Giants starter at 2.71.  He was unfairly overlooked for the Allstar game this year, but no doubt he'll take this World Series W over that anyday.  Great story.

Lincecum and Romo finished things up with 3 more shutdown innings.  They had the luxury of doing so because the Giants earned a 2-0 lead by scrapping together a couple runs.  Pence walked to start the 2nd inning, stole 2nd then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch.  Blanco then hit a RBI triple.  UCLA alum Crawford then hit a RBI single.  That's 1 more than Vogelsong & Co needed, but they also had the defense to thank.

Three times the Tigers had runners in scoring position.  In the 1st and 3rd innings, Detroit had runners at 1st and 2nd with just 1 out.  Both times they grounded into double plays.  In the 5th, they had bases loaded with 1 out, and Vogelson struck out Berry and got Cabrera to pop out.  A grandslam there might have been the momentum shift they needed.

Perhaps the most memorable play from this game was Buster Posey's 8th inning play - in which he somehow caught a stray Lincecum pitch headed toward his low left to prevent the runner from advancing to 2nd.  Instead of turning his glove over (so his thumb was up), he just kept twisting his glove (with his thumb facing down) while reaching far left to literally snag the ball.  Its hard to describe, but from the camera view behind, he looked like he caught the back of the ball.

Now, think about these facts.

- The Giants have allowed only 4 runs in the last 6 games.  Its a franchise record 6 straight postseason wins.

- This is the first back-to-back shutout since 1966 WS (Orioles over Dodgers) and its only the 2nd time in 90 years that this has happened in the World Series.

- Only 1 team out of 32 total who have been in a 0-3 hole in any 7 game series has come back to win ('04 Red Sox's legendary comeback over the Yankees, of course).

- No team in a 0-3 hole in the World Series has even pushed the series to Game 6.  20 of the 23 teams to fall behind 0-3 were swept and the other 3 teams fell in Game 5.  These are amazing stats.

That means that according to history, there's an 87% chance that we win Game 4.  That is truly crazy.  If we go by the 1-32 stat, that means there's just a 3% chance that the Tigers win the series.

However, we have Cain going tomorrow against their 4th starter.  If we don't win, they've got Verlander in Game 5 against Zito, whom we cannot possibly expect to dominate again, can we?  After that, Bumgarner gets the 6-8 giant, Fister.  Then its a Game 7.  Shudder.

I'm not greedy.  I'm not looking for a perfect game from Cain.  Just one more W.  One.

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