The San Francisco Giants capped off their World Series sweep of the Detroit Tigers, winning 4-3 in 10 innings on Sunday night in Comerica Park.
It was only fitting that Bruce Bochy's resilient bunch completed their stunning run through the 2012 MLB postseason on the road and in extras for their second championship in three seasons. On a cold, rainy night in unfriendly territory, the Giants somehow got it done again.
After nine innings couldn't break the 3-3 tie, DH Ryan Theriot led off the 10th inning with a bloop single, and shortstop Brandon Crawford bunted him into scoring position.
After Phil Coke struck out Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro socked a single to center, which scored the game's deciding run. Sergio Romo then slammed the door for the third time in the Fall Classic, striking out the side in the ninth in front of a stunned Detroit crowd.
It was the small-ball style that the Giants were used to that gave them the edge in the end. A team that prides itself on pitching and defense due to the lack of home run threats in their lineup, the Giants offense relied on extra-base hits for most of the evening.
In the top of the second, Brandon Belt snapped an 0-for-10 drought in the World Series by smacking a one-out triple to plate Hunter Pence, who hit a double just one pitch prior. Although Belt was ultimately stranded at third, San Francisco still held an early 1-0 advantage.
ESPN Stats and Info had an interesting tidbit in light of Belt's hit:
Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco are the only players in Giants history with multiple triples in a single postseason. #WorldSeries— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 29, 2012
After the Giants left two more runners on base in the third, the home team responded in the bottom half of the inning.
Miguel Cabrera was the appropriate Tiger to answer the bell, as the Triple Crown winner jacked a two-run, opposite-field shot to right.
The drama then came to a halt until an action-packed sixth inning. Marco Scutaro had reached on an infield single for San Francisco that Cabrera couldn't pull out of his glove in time.
From there, Giants catcher Buster Posey—who led the MLB with a .336 average during the regular season—made up for an underwhelming postseason at the dish with a one-handed, two-run homer off of Detroit starter Max Scherzer.
That 3-2 lead would evaporate in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of Delmon Young. Giants ace Matt Cain left a breaking ball hanging over the plate, and Young shot a liner the other way for a solo shot that knotted the score at three.
MLB.com's official Twitter captured the action of Young's blast:
The early offense for Detroit was very uncharacteristic, as the previous three Giants pitchers had held the Tigers to just one run combined through the first three games of the Series.
San Francisco's Jeremy Affeldt struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, getting Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Young after a leadoff walk. Coke responded in the top of the ninth for the Tigers, though, mowing down Pence, Belt and Blanco with a string of mostly 95 mph fastballs.
Eventually, Coke cracked in the 10th.
The Giants used unfamiliar tactics to hang tough early, but prevailed by leaning on their typical strengths of smart hitting and steady pitching to clinch the 2012 World Series title.