2012 World Series: 4 Reasons Giants vs. Tigers Will Be 7-Game Instant Classic
With Game 1 in the books and the San Francisco Giants holding serve by winning last night, thanks in big part to Pablo Sandoval's three home runs, the 2012 World Series has the potential to be an instant classic. Even though the final of Game 1 was not close, there is a lot of baseball left to play and the Tigers will not go away quietly.
The Tigers have had a strong pitching staff all postseason and runs probably will not come as easy as they did last night. Detroit still has Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and power hitter Prince Fielder to give Giants pitchers nightmares.
The Giants certainly have the momentum heading into Game 2 with the win over Justin Verlander but these are some reasons I see this series going seven and becoming an instant classic.
Pablo Sandoval vs. Miguel Cabrera
Pablo Sandoval fired the first, as well as the second and third, shot in what I see becoming a battle of one up man-ship between Cabrera and the Kung Fu Panda. I don't see the Triple Crown winner backing down from a challenge and he should rebound nicely in Game 2, putting the Tigers offense on his shoulders.
Sandoval has put together a very impressive postseason, hitting .370 after last night's game to go along with six home runs and 13 RBIs. Cabrera has been a little more lackluster with a .282 batting average and only one home run and six RBIs. This should be an interesting battle to watch as the two teams' best hitters slug it out.
Giants Pitching Rotation vs. Tigers Pitching Rotation
Game 1 will be more the exception than the rule as both teams have quality pitching staffs and runs should be hard to come by heading through the rest of the Series. The fact that the Giants were able to get to Verlander in Game 1 has to give them confidence but the rest of the Tigers' pitchers has been equally impressive, putting together a postseason best 1.74 ERA before the World Series.
The Giants rotation has been no slouch either, putting together a team ERA of 3.74, with two shutouts and holding opponents to a batting average of .237. The Giants got a big boost with Zito's strong game and will look for Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain to keep the momentum rolling in the Giants' favor.
Similar Offensive Output
The Miguel Cabrera vs. Pablo Sandoval matchup has already been discussed, but in terms of offensive output, both teams are very evenly matched. During the regular season, the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants finished 11th and 12th respectively in the MLB in runs scored. They were only separated by a total of eight runs, with the Tigers scoring 726 and the Giants scoring 718.
The postseason has not been any different as both teams have been putting up similar offensive numbers, with the Giants averaging 4.4 runs per game before the World Series and the Tigers averaging four runs per game.
This is another area that I think both teams are evenly matched, which should spell out a long series.
Giants Refusal to Lose Elimination Games
This is uncharted territory for the San Francisco Giants, because for the first time this postseason, they won the opening game of the series and will actually have a series lead heading into the next game.
The Giants have fallen behind in both series this postseason by two games and have won an impressive six straight elimination games. It will be interesting to see how this team plays, if differently at all, with their backs no longer against the wall and actually in control of a series.
Losing the opening game of the World Series is not what the Tigers had planned, but they were playing on the road against a team that has been riding high, winning three straight against the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals.
There is a lot of talent and veteran leadership on this team and it seems unlikely that they will just roll over in this series. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers have the same fight that the Giants have shown, and if this is the case, this series should go the distance.