The 10 Most Memorable Moments of the 2012 World Series
The Detroit Tigers got a taste of their own medicine.
Make no mistake about it—the Giants showed their dominance through their incredible pitching staff. After holding the St. Louis Cardinals to just one run in the final three games of the NLCS, the Giants continued mowing down opposing hitters. They held the Tigers to just six runs in their four-game whitewash.
Memories from the 108th edition of the World Series will be largely stacked toward the Giants, and for obvious reasons.
Here are 10 of those memories.
1. Game 1: Pablo Sandoval Joins an Exclusive Club
The San Francisco Giants have gotten through these playoffs by relying on the bats of Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro at the top of the order.
In Game 1, however, third baseman Pablo Sandoval added to that mix in a major way.
Sandoval busted out with three home runs—two off Tigers starter Justin Verlander and another off Al Albuquerque—all in his first three at-bats.
Sandoval's 13 total bases tied a single-game World Series record set just last year by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.
2. Game 1: Barry Zito Throws Another Gem
The effort supplied by Barry Zito in his Game 5 NLCS start against St. Louis helped fuel the team's comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.
Zito was handed the ball for Game 1 of the World Series as well, and the confidence shown in Zito by manager Bruce Bochy paid off.
Zito gave up just one run on six hits in 5.2 innings to pick up the all-important first win of the series and get his Giants started in the right direction.
3. Game 1: Tim Lincecum Delivers in Relief
There was considerable debate as to who should start Game 2 for San Francisco—Madison Bumgarner or Tim Lincecum.
Bumgarner had posted an 11.25 ERA in his two postseason starts and looked completely out of sorts. Lincecum saw his share of struggles all season long but had pitched well in relief of late.
Bochy, though, eventually elected to go with Bumgarner after he had shown positive results in recent bullpen sessions—another decision that clearly paid off.
After Zito departed with two outs in the sixth of Game 1, Lincecum came on in relief and completely denied any chance of a Tigers comeback.
Lincecum retired seven straight Tigers—five of them by strikeout—in a completely dominating performance to preserve the win for Zito.
4. Game 1: Gregor Blanco Shows off Glove Work
When Gregor Blanco was given the responsibility of taking over in left field for the suspended Melky Cabrera, the Giants knew they would be taking a hit offensively.
But in this postseason—most notably the World Series—Blanco made his presence known in a major way.
In Game 1, with the Giants up by a run in the third inning and Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson on first base, the ever-dangerous Miguel Cabrera stepped to the plate and hit a sinking line drive to left field.
Blanco committed himself right away, making a diving catch at the last second to take away a potential extra-base hit from Cabrera and potentially saving a run.
Then, in the sixth inning, Blanco did it again. This time, Tigers cleanup hitter Prince Fielder was the one who had a hit taken away. Blanco robbed him in almost the same spot in the outfield and in an eerily similar style play.
Two dangerous hitters, two line drives, two great plays in the outfield. Not a bad night's work.
5. Game 2: Doug Fister Gamely Toughs It Out
There may be nothing worse in baseball than to see a pitcher get nailed in the head by a line drive.
Earlier this year, Brandon McCarthy required emergency surgery after being struck by a line drive off the bat of Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, ending McCarthy's season.
Last year, Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio fractured his neck after taking one off the side of his head.
In Game 2 of the World Series, Detroit Tigers starter Doug Fister took a wicked liner off the side of his head in the second inning. The ball was hit so hard it caromed off Fister's head all the way into center field.
Remarkably, Fister got up right away. The Tigers medical staff immediately came out to check on their player, and after performing their due diligence, determined Fister was fit to continue.
Not only did Fister stay in the game, he pitched remarkably well, working into the seventh inning while allowing only one run on four hits and 116 pitches.
6. Game 2: Madison Bumgarner Straightens Things Out in a Big Way
With all of the talk concerning the Game 2 starter for the Giants, Bruce Bochy decided that embattled starter Madison Bumgarner was his guy.
Bumgarner was completely ineffective in his first two starts of the postseason, posting an 11.25 ERA. However, pitching coach Dave Righetti apparently found some issues with Bumgarner's mechanics, and he worked with the young lefty to right the ship.
As a result, Bumgarner was brilliant in Game 2, holding the Tigers to just two hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking two. With the Giants' bats held to just five hits, Bumgarner's effort was especially needed on this night.
7. Game 2: Hunter Pence Delivers
Thankfully, with the effort given by Madison Bumgarner, the Giants didn't need exceptional hitting in Game 2 to come out on top.
But what they got from right fielder Hunter Pence was huge.
Pence struggled in Game 1, striking out three times and looking completely lost. But in Game 2, his offense made the difference.
It was Pence's single in the seventh inning that led to the Giants' first run, and his sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth added an all-important insurance run in the Giants' eventual 2-0 win.
A 1-for-3 night with one run scored and one run batted in may not look all that special in a box score, but for the Giants, it was more than enough.
8. Game 3: Ryan Vogelsong Takes the Giants to the Brink
In about 20 years or so, someone is going to make a movie about the incredible career of Ryan Vogelsong.
Out of the majors for five seasons, Vogelsong made his triumphant return in 2011, and on Saturday night he put this Giants club on the brink of a second World Series title in three years.
Vogelsong was brilliant in Game 3, allowing just five hits in 5.2 innings before giving way to reliever Tim Lincecum.
It was all routine for him, though. Vogelsong did the same in Game 6 of the NLCS, feeding off the energy supplied by Barry Zito's Game 5 effort to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals in seven innings.
9. Game 3: Tim Lincecum Delivers...Again
Off the heels of his tremendous relief performance in Game 1 of the World Series, Tim Lincecum made a name for himself once again in Game 3.
Taking the ball from Vogelsong with two outs in the sixth, Lincecum delivered another terrific 2.1 innings, this time allowing just one hit with three strikeouts.
When all is said and done, Lincecum will go down as the unsung hero in this World Series.
10. Game 4: Marco Scutaro Is the Hero, and Deservedly So
San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was the spark plug for the team during the second half, hitting .362 in 61 games following his trade from the Colorado Rockies.
Scutaro delivered for the Giants in the NLCS as well, collecting an LCS-record 14 hits and winning the NLCS MVP award.
He did it again for the Giants in the World Series, and his heroics led to a World Series title.
Scutaro's single in the top of the 10th inning scored Ryan Theriot with the winning run, and reliever Sergio Romo held the lead in the bottom of the 10th to deliver the World Series trophy once again to San Francisco.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.
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