After a huge Game 7 victory by the San Francisco Giants over the St. Louis Cardinals, the World Series is finally set. The Detroit Tigers (who ended the Yankees' postseason hopes almost a whole four days before the Giants were finished) have been waiting for their opponent to rise up.
The Giants rose up in style. They came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NLCS and advance to the World Series, winning a total of six elimination games in the postseason.
The Giants got it done with some big pitching performances against the Cardinals and will continue to pitch well against the Tigers in the World Series.
The Tigers have survived in the AL playoffs due to their hot bats and the well-timed appearances by Justin Verlander.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, their bats are about to cool down.
The San Francisco pitching staff is going to shut down the Tigers' bats in the World Series.
As Tiger fans know, the Detroit squad was looking pretty scary building up to the end of the regular season. It looked like they wouldn't be able to even make it into the playoffs until they got some help by a tanking Chicago White Sox club. When the Sox started their nosedive, the Tigers bats got hot, and they kept rolling behind Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and company.
Throughout the ALDS and ALCS other Tiger bats have awoken, but can they stay hot for another series? We'll see, but it doesn't look great.
The Giants will trot Barry Zito to the mound to start Game 1 of the series on Oct. 24. While Zito has struggled toward the end of the season, he's played very well in the playoffs and has a good track record against the big bats for the Tigers.
In Miguel Cabrera's eight at bats against Zito, he has two singles, which is a win against Mr. Triple Crown. Prince Fielder has just three hits in his 18 appearances against Zito, which amounts to a measly .167 batting average. Austin Jackson, the leadoff man for the Tigers has been hot but has never found a hit against Zito.
It's not just Zito though. Matt Cain has kept Cabrera and Fielder to .167 and .278 batting averages, respectively. While the .278 for Fielder may be good, Fielder hasn't been as effective this season while Cabrera doesn't produce in front of him. If Jackson and the other early batters for the Tigers can't get on base for Prince and Cabby, the Tigers bats will have some issues.
Ryan Vogelsong is a similar story. Vogelsong has kept Dirks, Fielder, and Avila hitless against him and has allowed just one hit to Miguel Cabrera in five at bats.
Tim Lincecum has kept Cabrera and Delmon Young hitless while giving up just four hits to Prince Fielder in 17 at bats.
The relievers show more of the same. Sergio Romo has held Tigers' batters to a .125 batting average in his appearances against the donners of the old English D.
The Giants bullpen has been solid in the postseason, and along with the Giant's starters, will be able to shut down the high-powered offense of the Detroit Tigers. If the Tigers want to have a shot at the World Series, they'll need to get a lot of help from their pitching staff.
The World Series will get rolling on Wednesday, Oct. 24, with Zito taking the mound opposite of Verlander.