An Interesting Four Games (2012 World Series)

The World Series has always been a great series and in 2012 it was not different as another champion was crowned in the MLB. The series may not have been as good as last year or the year before that or basically most series. It wasn’t a lights out 7 game war and was not even a great pitching battle between two good rotations. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch but what made this series so great was everything that went on behind the actual game. The San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers were on opposite ends of the spectrum when they entered the World Series. The Tigers were the team to beat in the postseason as they came into the playoffs. They had everything that a team would want going into the most important part of the season. They had a strong offence led by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and free agent pickup Prince Fielder. Not only that they had one of the best pitching rotations in the postseason led by the best pitcher in baseball right now Justin Verlander. It seemed that they would be able to get through anyone in the postseason and they did. A small scare in the ALDS was washed away when they beat the Yankees in four games. Meanwhile on the West Coast the Giants came in to the postseason with a lot of questions. Could their rotation stand up after a year of inconsistency? Could Buster Posey break out of the slump to contribute when they needed him? and Is the team good enough without their best hitter Melky Cabrera who would not return to the team after being suspended for the use of PEDs? The Giants did not really prove any of the detractors wrong except for in one aspect. Nobody realized the heart this team had as they came back twice to earn their spot in the finals. They opened up the postseason going down 2-0 against the Reds in a five game series as their postseason seemed to be over quickly. Then came the comeback as the Giants won the next three games top beat the Reds 3-2 in the NLDS. The NLCS was no different as they went down 3-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals as the magic seemed to be over. Another three wins in a row propelled the Giants back to the World Series for the second time in three years. The tigers were the beasts in the postseason that people looked at and thought that nobody could beat them especially when Verlander and Max Scherzer were on the mound. The Giants were the little team that could with players like Marco Scutaro playing the biggest roles and players Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey taking a back seat. As the Series looked to begin it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Tigers would win behind the arms of Verlander and Scherzer despite the lack of production from Cabrera and Fielder. There was still this hesitance though as the Giants seemed like real fighters in this postseason and that they could find a way to win against the Tigers. Plus the long rest of the Tigers seemed oddly familiar to the 2006 World Series when the Tigers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals after sweeping Oakland in the ALCS. It also seemed oddly familiar to the 2010 World Series when the San Francisco Giants beat the favorite Texas Rangers in a series they were never supposed to win. The smart money was on the Tigers but there were some reservations for those looking at the game behind the game.

The Series started in San Francisco as the Giants looked to continue their magic against the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander. What was missed by some was the fact that the Giants were at home to begin the series thanks to the performance of Pablo Sandoval against Justin Verlander in the All-Star Game. Sandoval was at it again as he quickly got to Verlander hitting a HR in both at-bats against the right hander. It would be the beginning of a 4-for-4 night with three HRs by The Kung Fu Panda. Sandoval led the team to a 1-0 lead in the series with an amazing performance while bloop hits and some strange plays, like a ball hitting off of the third base for a single, helped the Giants get to the Tigers’ top player. The second game seemed much different as both starting pitchers were able to keep their opponents in check for the majority of the game. Then in the 7th inning Brandon Crawford hit into a double play with Hunter Pence on third and instead of going home to prevent a run the Tigers decided to let him score. The Giants were ahead 2-0 after the 8th inning and never looked back as the Tigers went down 2-0 and headed home. In Game 3 the tigers seemed to have some life in their bats but it came at all the wrong times. After loaded the bases multiple times they could not capitalize. The Giants took another win shutting out the offence of the Tigers once again. Game 4 was a turning point for the Tigers as they finally played with some urgency. The Giants got ahead early but Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run HR to go ahead. Buster Posey answered though putting the Giants ahead until Delmon Young evened the score in the bottom half of the inning. The game would go to extras where Marco Scutaro hit a single allowing Ryan Theriot to score and bringing in closer Sergio Romo to end the game with three outs. The Giants had swept the Tigers in a surprising win that showed that the best team on paper will not win every time. It was a series sweep and so not very exciting to watch especially with the Tigers playing so poorly but everything behind the series made the 2012 version another great one and gave the Giants their second title in three years.

 

World Series MVP:
Pablo Sandoval, 3B (San Francisco Giants)

World Series Stats:
.500 avg
3 HR
4 RBI
1.125 SLG
1.654 OPS

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