MLB Week in Review (October 20-26)

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The Detroit Tigers made quick work of the New York Yankees before last week leaving on series to be figured out. The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants would fight it out at the beginning of the week to determine the opponents of the Tigers. The series seemed to be over pretty quickly almost as quick as the Yankees-Tigers series. The Cardinals went ahead easily in the series only dropping one out of the first four games. This put them in a great position as they looked to finish the Giants off with only one more win. They couldn’t do it in five games as the Giants showed their trademark fight to win the game and extend the series. Then they couldn’t do it in the 6th game as the Giants continued to fight and pushed the series to a winner take all game. In Game 7 the series was all over with the Giants coming out on top and moving in to the World Series for the second time in three years. It was yet another example of a Giants team never giving up when their back was against the wall. It was the second series that the Giants won three games in a row while they faced elimination. It was an accomplishment and gave them plenty of confidence going in to the World Series. What was so odd about the last three games in the NLCS as they all looked like carbon copies of each other. The Giants got to the Cardinals early in the game as no starting pitcher from St. Louis made it past the 4th inning. Then the Giants went on to add a few runs in other innings while they leaned on their starters and bullpen to shut the Cards down. In the first part of the game the Giants were able to get to St. Louis but it wasn’t so much their skill or power that did it. Instead many of the time the runs came from terrible plays in the field. The Cardinals could not seem to figure anything out in the field as they regularly let balls past them and through them. More than once the Cardinals fielders double clutched an easy ground ball allowing a runner to get on. It was a strange display as the Cardinals had represented almost the same type of team as the Giants. Not much was expected of either entering the postseason as both were good teams but many did not know if they were good enough to win in the postseason. The teams were also against everything during the postseason as the Cards had to win the first ever Wild Card playoff game to earn their spot in the postseason. The Cardinals seemed like the magic they had from 2011 was making a comeback but it seemed to disappear against the Giants. The magic seemed to switch over to the Giants in fact as there were plenty of weird plays and uncharacteristic mistakes that helped the Giants to the win. It was an odd end to the series but it showed one thing above all. The San Francisco Giants are back and looking like everything is going their way heading into the World Series. An uncharacteristic defensive performance by the Cardinals and a little bit of luck mixed with plenty of skill created a great series that sent the Giants to the World Series once again. Riding the high from winning three games straight in the postseason into the biggest series of the year against the Detroit Tigers the Giants were looking for everything to continue to win a their second championship in three years.

The World Series began this week only a day after the Giants advanced to the final series while the Tigers had been waiting for a long time. A lot was made about the value of a long break or of being right into playing baseball. Would the Tigers be able to keep their edge for the long break or would the Giants be better off playing in what essentially is a normal schedule for baseball players? These questions would be answered fairly quickly as the World Series so far has been very one-sided. Coming into the postseason the Tigers seemed like the scariest team with plenty of offensive stars and the best pitching rotation in the postseason. The star of this rotation was Justin Verlander and he was sent out to set the tone in game 1 of the series. It was a big task for the Giants offence and for Barry Zito who would go pitch for pitch with the defending Cy Young Award winner. The aura of Verlander did little to affect the Giants though as they easily got to arguably the best pitcher in baseball. This was especially true of Pablo Sandoval who hit two home runs off of Verlander and added a third later in the game to become only the 4th player in MLB history to hit three HRs in one World Series game. Backed by Sandoval and a good performance from Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum the Giants took the first game with little challenge. The second game seemed to continue the trend although this time the starting pitching was much better shutting both offences down for the majority of the game. It wasn’t until a poor fielding decision by the Tigers allowed the Giants to score their first run in the game. This put them ahead for good as they won the second game to put the Tigers behind early. With the Giants rolling out their two best pitchers in the next two games the Tigers are in trouble as they will need to figure out something to get back in to the series and going home is always a positive. So far the World Series has been an interesting one with players that many will never see again and it looks to continue as a great series once again.

 

ALCS:
New York Yankees 0 – 4 Detroit Tigers
Game 1: DET 6 – 4 NYY
Game 2: DET 3 – 0 NYY
Game 3: DET 2 – 1 NYY
Game 4: DET 8 – 1 NYY

 

NLCS:
San Francisco Giants 4 – 3 St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1: STL 6 – 4 SF
Game 2: SF 7 – 1 STL
Game 3: STL 3 – 1 SF
Game 4: STL 8 – 3 SF
Game 5: SF 5 – 0 STL
Game 6: SF 6 – 1 STL
Game 7: SF 9 – 0 STL

 

World Series:
San Francisco Giants 2 – 0 Detroit Tigers
Game 1: SF 8 – 3 DET
Game 2: SF 2 – 0 DET
Game 3: SF @ DET (October 27th; 8:00 pm EDT)
Game 4: SF @ DET (October 28th; 8:00 pm EDT)
Game 5: SF @ DET (October 29th; 8:00 pm EDT)
Game 6: DET @ SF (October 31st; 8:00 pm EDT)
Game 7: DET @ SF (November 1st; 8:00 pm EDT)

 

Games Played If Needed

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