Friday, October 26, 2012

San Fran Shuts Out Detroit

Bumgarner fired seven shutout innings to help give the Giants a 2-0 Series edge
In the wake of the offensive fireworks provided by Pablo Sandoval in Game 1, I expected a traditional pitcher's duel in Game 2. Sure enough, the bats fell silent on both sides as the two teams combined for just seven hits, only one of which went for extra bases. Nobody scored through the first six innings as Doug Fister (making his first World Series start) and Madison Bumgarner (making his second) hung zeroes on the scoreboard.

The second inning was interesting. Prince Fielder took one for the team to lead off the frame, but Marco Scutaro gunned him down as the lead-footed slugger attempted to score on Delmon Young's double. So instead of having runners on second and third with nobody out, the Tigers only had a man at second with one out. Jhonny Peralta and Avasail Garcia couldn't deliver the key hit and stranded him there. In the bottom half of the inning, San Fran loaded the bases but failed to score.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Giants took the lead. Hunter Pence slapped a single to open the frame and chase Fister (114 pitches) from the game. Jim Leyland brought in Drew Smyly, who promptly walked Brandon Belt and allowed an infield single to Gregor Blanco to load the bases. With nobody out, the Giants were primed to break the game wide open, but Brandon Crawford bounced into a double play. Pence scored, but  the twin-killing snuffed out the big inning. Ryan Theriot, pinch-hitting for Bumgarner, whiffed to end the frame.

After Santiago Casilla set the Tigers down in order, the Giants had another juicy scoring opportunity in the bottom of the eighth when they loaded the bases via three walks, one of which was intentional (to Sandoval), with only one out. Pence lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Angel Pagan and double the Giants lead, but Phil Coke came in and fanned Belt to extinguish the fire.

The Tigers didn't make so much as a peep in the top of the ninth. Sergio Romo breezed through a 1-2-3 inning on eleven pitches, retiring Quintin Berry, Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to secure the win.

After an off day today, the series resumes tomorrow night in Motown with Ryan Vogelsong set to do battle with Anibal Sanchez. Detroit's offense may be a bit rusty after the layoff between the ALCS and Fall Classic, flailing just as bad as the Yankee lineup they muted in their four game sweep. Tigers hitters will have to step up after producing just two hits and five baserunners in Game 2. They can't afford to fall behind 3-0 with Matt Cain waiting to finish them off in Game 4.

The time is now.

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