Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants: Team Grades from World Series Game 2
The Detroit Tigers came into Thursday night's World Series Game 2 looking to tie up the series, but fell short against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants, 2-0.
Bumgarner was brilliant for the first time all postseason long, as was his counterpart Doug Fister, who allowed just one run in six-plus innings. Bumgarner sat down eight Tigers by way of the K, as Detroit could only come up with two hits on the night.
The San Francisco offense didn't do much against the Tigers either, but they took advantage of Detroit's bullpen and were able to score twice with Drew Smyly and Octavio Dotel on the mound. On the contrary, the Giants' relievers, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, were flawless in relief of Bumgarner and locked up the victory.
The series now shifts to Comerica Park in Detroit, but before that happens, let's evaluate Game 2. Here are the grades for San Francisco's 2-0 victory over Detroit on Thursday night.
Doug Fister vs. Madison Bumgarner
Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers
Doug Fister pitched well enough to win Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night, but didn't get one in his third attempt this postseason. Fister rolled through the first inning and then was drilled in the head on a comebacker in the second, but opted to stay in the game.
From there, Fister was nearly flawless. He retired more than 10 in a row after the scary incident before exiting the game during the seventh inning after a Hunter Pence single. Fister was charged with an earned run after Smyly allowed Pence to score, but overall, it was a great night for the Detroit right-hander.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
Madison Bumgarner pitched one of the best games of his career against the Tigers on Thursday, hurling seven shutout innings while striking out eight. He retired the side in order on a couple of occasions, but did escape a major jam in the second inning when Delmon Young hit a double to left field, but Prince Fielder was thrown out at the plate.
Bumgarner only allowed two hits during his outing, picking up his first victory of the postseason after two very poor starts. He didn't have his best stuff, missing his spot plenty of times, but the Tigers just couldn't hit it. Bumgarner needed to pitch well on Thursday and he made sure his opportunity didn't go to waste.
Detroit Offense vs. San Francisco Offense
The Tigers seemed helpless for the second straight night against the Giants as they could barely get anything going. In fact, they didn't have any sort of offensive production after the second inning when they had a prime opportunity to score.
Delmon Young laced a double down the left-field line with Prince Fielder already on base. Fielder came running around the bases hard and third-base coach Gene Lamont decided to put the pressure on the defense and give Fielder the wave home. The Giants played it perfectly, nailing Fielder at the plate, and that was it for the Tigers offense on the night.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants didn't have much success at all off of Doug Fister, but Hunter Pence started a rally in the seventh inning and that led to a run after Drew Smyly allowed him to score with the bases loaded. San Francisco did get a bit of luck on a bunt play, which led to the Pence run.
San Francisco really took advantage of the Detroit bullpen as it scored off of Smyly, who was very bad, and then forced Octavio Dotel out of the game as he couldn't do anything. The Giants could've gotten more runs after Dotel was lifted, but Phil Coke kept them at just two runs.
Detroit Bullpen vs. San Francisco Bullpen
Drew Smyly inherited a runner after relieving Doug Fister in the seventh inning and didn't get very lucky. He faced a tough situation when a bunt stayed just fair to load the bases up with no one out. He rolled a double-play ball, but a run came in to score to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Smyly then walked the first batter of the eighth inning, but retired Marco Scutaro who had been attempting to bunt. Octavio Dotel replaced Smyly with an out in the inning after an intentional walk to Pablo Sandoval, but ended up walking Buster Posey to load the bases.
Hunter Pence hit a sacrifice fly to give the Giants a two-run lead, and Dotel was replaced by Phil Coke. Coke got Brandon Belt to chase an outside pitch to escape the inning and prevent further damage.
San Francisco Giants
After Madison Bumgarner was lifted after the seventh inning, Santiago Casilla came in and tossed a perfect eighth inning, leaving the Giants just three outs away from a 2-0 series lead.
Sergio Romo came in for the save in the ninth inning and did a fantastic job, retiring the side in order and giving the Giants a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Detroit Defense vs. San Francisco Defense
The Tigers played pretty well defensively in Game 2 and didn't do anything to hurt their chances of winning. Of course the bunt landing on the foul line is a tough one to take, but their wasn't much that they could do on that.
They did get a double play in the seventh to prevent more than one run scoring, and Doug Fister and Prince Fielder hooked up on a bunt attempt by Gregor Blanco that turned into a nice play.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants were outstanding defensively Thursday, coming up big in the field on several occasions. It started in the second inning when Gregor Blanco hit Marco Scutaro as the cutoff man en route to a play at the plate where Prince Fielder was tagged out trying to score from first base.
Other impressive plays on the night include a quick snag by Pablo Sandoval on a laser by Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Belt also making a perfect throw to second to nab Omar Infante on a pickoff play.
Final Team Grades
Doug Fister did all he could do to try and even the series a one apiece, but it wasn't enough as the bullpen was bad and offense went cold. The Tigers now find themselves in a deep hole going back to Detroit, where each game will be essential to win.
Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants were just too much for Detroit's offense, and sending Prince Fielder home in the second inning really came back to bite the Tigers. They didn't have much going after that happened, and that could've been the one run they needed to have Game 2 go in their favor.
San Francisco Giants
Home-field advantage prevailed in San Francisco as the Giants were able to take the opening two games of the World Series over the Tigers. Madison Bumgarner was untouchable and the offense managed to get two runs when Detroit couldn't get anything.
The win gives them a major advantage going into Comerica Park as the Giants hold a 2-0 series lead and are guaranteed to come back to San Francisco if they don't clinch the series in Detroit. The offense has to do a better job at getting on the board, though, because two runs isn't going to cut it every night.