Giants vs. Tigers: Who Will Win the 2012 World Series?
Thursday October 25th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer):
Who Has The Edge In The Starting Pitching Department?
The Tigers’ starters go as far as Justin Verlander takes them, which is a long, long way most of the time. Thus far, Verlander has lifted his fellow rotation mates to an elite stature. In the American League Championship Series, the Tigers posted a 0.67 ERA against a helpless Yankees’ team. But as last night proved, anything can happen in the World Series.
When the Tigers are mentioned, don’t fall into the trap that their pitching is just based around Verlander. Yes, we get, the world gets it, Verlander is a god. But the assumption that he’s all the Tigers have is completely false because they wouldn’t have swept the Yankees without others contributing. Remember, Verlander pitched just once in the ALCS. Heck, Verlander could arguably take the backseat to Max Scherzer who has only allowed one run over 11 innings so far in this year’s playoffs. After giving up 5 runs to the Giants last night in 4 innings, the Tigers showed that they cannot simply rely on Justin Verlander…or the 2012 World Series will end very quickly. After all, all sporting gods show their human side at some point.
On the Giants’ side, their rotation is greatly shuffled after having to go seven games to finally derail the Cardinals, basically meaning that they didn’t have their ace in Matt Cain to oppose Verlander in Game 1. Instead, Barry Zito got the nod against the presumable A.L Cy Young winner. Please, pause for a second and digest that sentence, I dare you to. Now look at Barry Zito’s start in Game 1. 5 2/3 innings, 1 run and 6 hits. And now the Tigers still have to contend with Cain. After Zito, Madison Bumgarner will take the ball in Game 2 against Doug Fister. Bumgarner has been reeling since the end of August. In two postseason starts (8 innings), he has posted an 11.25 ERA, and in both starts, the Giants lost. However, the lefty fixed a couple of mechanical flaws during a side session last week.
In Game 3, Ryan Vogelsong will oppose Anibal Sanchez, as the series changes scenery back to Comerica Park. Vogelsong has arubably been the best pitcher in the playoffs this year outside of Verlander, of course. In three starts, he has a 1.42 ERA, and most recently allowed just one run to the Cardinals in Game 6 of the NLCS. Sanchez has been solid up to this point as well, finally proving why he was a great addition to the Tigers’ rotation. In two starts, he has totaled a 1.35 ERA, but walked five batters in those two starts as well.
The main thing to take away from here, is that Sanchez can be a bit wobbly in terms of consistency. Usually, walks are detrimental to him, as his stuff is above average. For Vogelsong, pitching on the road is the only concern with him, but Comerica shouldn’t play small, seeing as how the forecast is supposed to be chilly.
Lastly, Matt Cain will make his first appearance when he opposes Max Scherezer in Game 4. What comes as a surprise here, is the fact that Cain is pitching Game 4. This likely means that he wouldn’t pitch a potential Game 7, instead Vogelsong would likely receive the honor.
Both the Tigers and Giants have heavily relied on good starting pitching to get them to where they are—the World Series. However, the Tigers boast Justin Verlander; a guy who can pitch three times in this series if the Tigers desperately need him to. After a rough outing last night, we know that Verlander will return later in the series- hungrier than ever.
Tigers: 6 Giants: 4
Who Has The Edge Offensively?
Yes, the Giants erupted for nine runs in Game 7. But the truth is, only a handful of their 14 hits were crisp line drives. Most notably, Hunter Pence’s game-opening two-run double took a wicked hop that fooled the shortstop. That hit set-up a huge inning for San Francisco.
Basically, the Giants might not reap the benefits of lucky hops or bloopers in the World Series. The Tigers’ pitching staff is a bit better than St.Louis’s at the moment, meaning that runs are going to come at a premium. You wouldn’t know it, with the Giants scoring 8 runs in Game 1 of the World Series, with Pablo Sandoval connecting for 3 home runs. But the tide could just as easily turn in game 2, with Doug Fister silencing the Giants bats. If the Giants are to win this series, their bats better stay scorching hot.
The Tigers obviously have the most dangerous weapon of all in Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera hasn’t been dominant per say so far in the playoffs, but that’s mostly due to the fact that opposing pitchers have elected to pitch him extremely careful. Buster Posey has received the same type of treatment. And with Pence struggling, it’s likely that the Tigers will continue to pitch around Posey until Pence proves otherwise. The presumable N.L MVP winner hit just .154/.267/.154 in the NLCS with just a lone RBI. He did go 2-4 last night with 2 singles. Hopefully a sign of more to come.
Now, onto Marco Scutaro, the NLCS MVP. Hitting exactly .500 with 4 RBIs, Scutaro carried the Giants’ offense. Also carrying the Giants’ offense, Pablo Sandoval hit .310 with two home runs and six RBIs. If it wasn’t for Scutaro, Sandoval probably would have won the MVP. Both men have started off hot in the World Series and with no surprise, the Giants got a big win in the process.
But the Tigers’ offense is dangerous in many facets. They can beat you with the long ball, big innings, and high hitting outputs. Delmon Young has produced eight RBIs in the playoffs, and Austin Jackson has scored seven runs, acting as the catalyst in the Tigers’ lineup.
Timely hits are going to be key in this series. Both of these teams like to score runs early, and both can bust out for big innings. Despite a big game last night from the Giants, I am still trusting the Tigers bats more in this series.
Tigers: 6 Giants: 4
Who Has The Better Bullpen?
This category is a tad more simpler to predict, even with the emergence of Phil Coke taking over the closer’s role for the Tigers.
The Giants’ bullpen has simply been better. At time during the regular season it was a major concern, but now, it’s a major strength. Armed with Tim Lincecum as the versatile swingman, Bruce Bochy can call upon several weapons to close the gap. Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez combined have pitched 11.2 scoreless innings. Sergio Romo has a save and has only given up one run over 7.2 innings, and Santiago Casilla has allowed just one run over 5.2 innings.
This series predicts to be a starting pitching heavy type of series, but the bullpens will still play a major role. The Tigers just have too many question marks, especially with Coke’s lack of experience as a closer.
Tigers: 2 Giants: 8
Final Tally: Tigers 14 – Giants 16
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
Jake Dal Porto is a Baseball Writer with MLB reports and a student from the Bay Area. Jake’s favorite sports moment was when the Giants won the World Series back in 2010. He loves to use sabermetrics in his work. He thinks they are the best way to show a player’s real success compared to the basic stats such as ERA, RBIs, and Wins. Jake also enjoys interacting and debating with his readers. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @TheJakeMan24
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Posted on October 25, 2012, in Playoffs and tagged barry zito, baseball, bruce bochy, buster posey, delmon young, detroit tigers, javier lopez, Jeremy Affledt, Jim Leyland, jose valverde, justin verlander, madison bumgarner, Marco scutaro, matt cain, miguel cabrera, mlb, pablo sandoval, phil coke, playoffs, ryan vogelsong, san francisco giants, sergio romo, tim lincecum, world series. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.