Marco Scutaro's two-out RBI single in the 10th inning proved to be the difference as the San Francisco Giants captured their second World Series title in three years, winning 4-3 over the Detroit Tigers to complete a four-game sweep. Sergio Romo ended the game by striking out the side, including Miguel Cabrera for the final out.
For the Tigers, the game saw their best effort by far as they overcame two deficits. But they could not overcome the third and watched their season come to an end in front of a packed house at Comerica Park.
Early, it looked as if San Francisco might just put the game to bed early as they scored again in the second inning on a one-out triple from Brandon Belt. However, starter Max Scherzer managed to limit the damage to that run as he induced a ground out from Gregor Blanco and got Ryan Theriot to fly out.
Detroit's sputtering offense couldn't generate any life until the bottom of the third. After an Austin Jackson walk, Quintin Berry bunted as Jackson was running and advanced the runner. Cabrera then broke through, launching a high, opposite-field home run just over the right-field wall to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
But the Giants, as they have been all postseason, were relentless. Scutaro led off the sixth inning with an infield single. After an out, Buster Posey lifted a change-up down the left-field line for a go-ahead two-run home run, and the Giants led 3-2.
Though down, the Tigers were not out. In the bottom of the inning, Delmon Young blasted an opposite-field home run with two outs and the game was tied again. And it would stay that way throughout regulation.
Phil Coke was fantastic throughout the playoffs, but he could not get the final out of his 2012 season in time. Scutaro's single scored Theriot to give the Giants a lead they would not relinquish.
Romo then struck out Austin Jackson, pinch hitter Don Kelly, then absolutely froze Cabrera on a fastball after serving nothing but sliders previously to end the game and the series.
For the Giants, it is their second title in three years. But for the Tigers, the question becomes, "What happened?"
After looking so good against the New York Yankees, this guy even went so far as to make them prohibitive favorites in the World Series. It seemed like a good idea: They had the best hitter in baseball and the best pitcher starting the series, as well as three other starters that had been dominant in the American League playoffs.
Were Prince Fielder's struggles the biggest reason for Detroit's defeat?
The problem is, the hitting disappeared. There are plenty of people that didn't show up and perform. But when we talk about goats, I think it has to start with Prince Fielder. Fielder hit .071 in the World Series and simply was not the protection for Cabrera the Tigers needed.
But the Prince was not alone in hitting like a pauper. Jhonny Peralta hit .067, the catching duos of Alex Avila and Gerald Laird did not get a hit in the series, etc. All three starting pitchers for Detroit in Games 2 through 4 pitched well enough to win. They just didn't get enough support.
The final analysis is that Detroit was simply the inferior team. There will be questions about what happens in 2013 (i.e., Delmon Young) and how the Tigers move forward. But right now, the reality is, a team that was on such a high in winning the pennant completely tanked in the Fall Classic. As a result, the San Francisco Giants celebrated a world title on their field, at their expense.