Three games into the 2012 World Series, it looks like barring a complete miracle, the Series is all but wrapped up. The San Francisco Giants are one game away from winning it all after beating the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, Saturday night.
The game ended up being a pitchers' duel, with Ryan Vogelsong and Anibal Sanchez controlling things. The Giants, however, were able to get just enough hits to allow them the 3-0 series lead.
The grades for each team's hitting, pitching and fielding make the two teams seem somewhat evenly matched this game, though that was not the case. All that mattered in the end was the win, which the Giants have once again.
The pitchers from both teams came to play, and it showed by the low score. The Tigers, in fact, may have pitched slightly better.
Anibal Sanchez allowed two earned runs through seven innings, and struck out eight. Ryan Vogelsong, meanwhile, threw 5.2 innings but walked four while striking out five, as the Tigers were at least able to work the pitch count.
Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke, meanwhile, were excellent in relief for the Tigers—especially Coke, as he struck out the side. Tim Lincecum was great in relief in his own right for San Francisco, as was Sergio Romo.
Grade: A- for both. Take out the Gregor Blanco triple and we have an 0-0 game through nine.
As great as the pitching was, the hitting on both sides was equally lackluster. The only standout was Gregor Blanco; his RBI triple in the second and run scored were the only two runs in the game.
Pablo Sandoval again had a multi-hit game, as did, far more surprisingly, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford. That, however, accounts for all of the Giants hits, as both teams had five players go hitless.
The Tigers only had five hits to the Giants' seven, and only Omar Infante had a multi-hit game for Detroit. When the No. 4 through 7 hitters fail to get a hit, that's a problem no matter how you slice it, even if two got on base from walks.
Grade: C for Giants; D for Tigers.
While this game did not directly come down to fielding, there were a few significant fielding plays—both great ones and miscues—that seemed to affect morale.
The Tigers had an Austin Jackson bobble error in the second inning, but that was after Gregor Blanco already scored to make the game 2-0. Still, it allowed Brandon Crawford to advance, and nothing else stood out for the Tigers there.
The Giants, meanwhile, had some very nice fielding. Crawford had a throwing error, but it wasn't an incredulous one, and they were able to work past it. Blanco's foul-out catch and the team's hustle may have been the difference, error aside.
Grade: Giants A-; Tigers C
The Giants, no question, had clear control of this game despite being the visitors at Comerica Park. The pitching and fielding were great, to the point where the team's hitters could afford to have an off night.
The Tigers, meanwhile, just don't have an answer for the San Francisco starters or the bullpen. Prince Fielder has gone cold, as have others. They look as bad as the Yankees did in the ALCS.
If the Tigers want to come back, they need to wake up immediately and capitalize on opportunities when presented. Because, right now, the series seems all but over.
Grade: Giants A-, Tigers D+