You know the old uphill-both-ways-in-the-snow-barefoot expression? Well, the Detroit Tigers are feeling that. But this isn't a hill; it's Everest. And it isn't snowing; those are Sandoval's homers just now coming down.
It isn't impossible. They just need to do what no other team has done in the last 30 years. And it's not looking good.
The mental side of the game shows just why the Tigers won't recover from the 0-2 hole and why the Giants will be your World Series Champions.
Here are the two main concerns weighing on the collective mind of Detroit:
They've Got History on Their Side
Now, here is the thing about history: It can lead to unwanted pressure on the favorites. Having taken a two-game lead, the Giants know that in the past thirty years, there have been 13 other teams in their very position. And every single one has gone on to win the World Series. Yes, it is pressure, but it's the type of pressure you want to have.
On the reverse side of things, Detroit is feeling that other kind of pressure, the kind that feels a lot more like agita and constipation. In this baseball game of chess they're playing, they are on the retreat to protect their king. But they so desperately need to attack.
Only a win in Game 3 will give them the breathing room they need to make it a series. Otherwise, the Giants will be keen to stay on the hunt as the aggressor, chug-chug-chugging along with that bit of history on their side.
Where Will It Come From Next for the Giants?
In Game 1 it came from a giant panda. In Game 2 it came from a 23-year-old pitcher with a funny last name. But where will it come from in Game 3? Detroit won't know, and likely neither will the Giants, but it looks like a precarious position for the Tigers.
Pablo Sandoval joined baseball history by hitting three home runs in four ABs in Game 1 of the World Series, and subsequently led his Giants to an 8-3 victory. The Tigers couldn't have accounted for that, but it happened, and now they've got the big Panda on their mind whenever he's so near as the batter's box.
And, likewise, in Game 2 it was pitcher Madison Bumgarner who matched up against Doug Fister and wrote the majority of the headlines. They dueled through the first six innings, with the young Giants pitcher allowing just two hits to Fister's three. But what impressed most was that Bumgarner led Fister eight to three in strikeouts in just 72 pitches, some 35 fewer than Fister.
Being that Sandoval had only 12 homers all season and Bumgarner had originally been bumped from the rotation after two poor outings in the NLCS, it's hard to imagine how it happened. But, even more concerning on the minds of the Tigers is where it will come from in Game 3.
Having strolled through a 4-0 sweep against the Yankees, Detroit will be scratching their aching heads as to what to do now. Sure, it only takes one win to turn everything around for the Tigers, but as far as I can see, this World Series trophy is going to end up back in San Francisco.
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