2012 World Series: Ranking 10 Most Important Players in Deciding the Champion
When the smoke clears, there will be one team standing, the 2012 Major League Baseball champions.
Both the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants have fought through adversity all season long. Yet here they stand, the American League and National League champions.
Obviously, there are top players that need to perform in the World Series. They go by the names Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Cain and Buster Posey, to name a few.
However, there are other key players that will need to contribute in a big way in order for their respective team to win it all.
Here is a look at the 10 most important players in deciding the 2013 World Series champion.
10. Phil Coke
The Tigers have been blessed with solid pitching out of their bullpen this postseason.
In the ALCS, Phil Coke appeared in four games and earned two saves in as many opportunities. He pitched 5.2 innings and allowed just three hits with zero earned runs.
Coke owns a 0.00 ERA and 0.53 WHIP and saw opponents bat just .150 against him in that series.
He is the true wild card here. Coke has never faced the Giants in his career.
9. Sergio Romo
Sergio Romo allowed San Francisco Giants fans the opportunity to forget all about Brian Wilson this season.
Romo has been consistent all season long while carrying that poise over into the postseason.
In four games, Romo pitched 3.1 innings with an ERA of 0.00 and 0.60 WHIP while allowing batters to hit just .167 off of him in the NLCS.
He allowed just two hits when called upon to shut down the Cardinals.
Romo has only faced the Tigers once, but racked up a save in that one opportunity.
8. Max Scherzer
In his lone 2012 ALCS start, Max Scherzer earned a win on the heels of a 5.2-inning outing that saw him post a 1.59 ERA and 0.71 WHIP.
Batters hit just .100 off of him, and he only walked two men and allowed two hits.
More impressively, Scherzer struck out 10 batters.
While historically his numbers against San Francisco are not that great, the Tigers need him to be ALCS-good.
In four career games, Scherzer is 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.40 WHIP against the Giants.
7. Pablo Sandoval
In seven games, Kung Fu Panda went 9-for-29 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI, carrying over the momentum he had in the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds.
Pablo Sandoval produced a .310/.355/.586/.941 batting line, second only to Marco Scutaro in terms of players on the team who appeared in every game of the series.
Sandoval has only played the Tigers three times in his career.
In that time frame, he's posted a .267/.313/.667/.979 batting line on the back of four hits in 15 at-bats. Of those hits, Sandoval has three doubles and a home run with four RBI.
6. Delmon Young
After a fickle season in the Motor City, Delmon Young has certainly proved himself in the ALCS.
In his four games, he went 6-for-17 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored, two walks and six RBI.
Young posted a .353/.421/.765/1.186 batting line.
In his career, he has only played the Giants four times and has been slightly average against them.
He's had just 13 at-bats with four hits. His batting line is .308/.308/.385/.692 with just one RBI.
5. Jhonny Peralta
Jhonny Peralta was an absolute monster for the Detroit Tigers against the Yankees in the ALCS.
In his four games, he racked up seven hits in his 18 at-bats, including a double and two home runs while driving in three RBI and scoring three runs.
His seven hits led the Tigers in the series.
Peralta posted an impressive .389/.421/.778/1.199 batting line, which afforded him the highest OPS on the team.
In his career, he has faced the Giants eight times and managed to be somewhat successful. He is 6-for-25 while scoring four runs with a double, triple, home run and three RBI on the heels of a .240/.367/.480/.847 batting line.
4. Ryan Vogelsong
In his two outings in the NLCS, Ryan Vogelsong was arguably the San Francisco Giants' best pitcher.
His performance has been good enough to cause Giants fans to wonder if he'll be starting two games (if need be) in the World Series.
In those two previous games, Vogelsong is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 14.0 innings of work. That includes 13 strikeouts and just eight hits allowed. Hitters batted just .154 against him in the NLCS.
Historically, Vogelsong is 0-0 against the Tigers in one career start. He owns a 2.79 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 6.2 innings while striking out five batters.
3. Barry Zito
Barry Zito needs to start the World Series off just as he left it against the Cardinals, red hot.
In the NLCS, he went 1-0 in 7.2 innings of work. Zito posted a 0.00 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with six strikeouts and allowed just six hits.
In 16 career games against the Tigers, Zito owns an 8-6 record with a 2.91 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while having struck out 69 batters in 102.0 innings of work.
2. Anibal Sanchez
In the ALCS, Anibal Sanchez was phenomenal.
He posted a 1-0 record, earning a 0.00 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 7.0 innings pitched while walking three batters and striking out seven. He also allowed just three hits.
Opposing hitters batted just .125 against him.
While Verlander is obviously the ace of the staff, Sanchez will be taking the mound for the third game of the series, which is the first game in Detroit.
In his career, Sanchez has faced the Giants five times and owns a 3-1 record with a 1.98 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, a stat line that the Tigers hope will translate when he takes the mound in this series.
1. Marco Scutaro
Has there been any player more important to his team than Marco Scutaro in this postseason?
Against St. Louis, Scutaro had 14 hits in 28 at-bats with three doubles and four RBI while scoring six runs of his own.
He produced a .500/.533/.607/1.140 batting line in the NLCS.
In 49 career games against the Tigers, Scutaro owns a .285/.356/.464/.820 batting line with seven home runs and 25 RBI.
In other words, there is potential for him to carry his scorching production at the plate into the World Series.