Giants or Tigers–Who You Got – From the Bird’s Nest
It’s time for the World Series…the Fall Classic….Baseball’s pinnacle….October’s showcase.
Hey, call it whatever you want. Some around these parts call it boredom.
Hey, if you don’t like baseball, it’s your loss, not mine.
And, this year the Rangers aren’t around. Nor the Yanks or Sox. No Dodger Blue or Tomahawk Chop.
Just two teams with really rabid fan bases that don’t exactly have a national following.,
The San Francisco Giants are two years removed from winning the World Series and they’re back to try it again. The Giants have mad pitching. In fact, the pitching is so good, Tim Lincecum has been moved to long and middle relief.
Nice to have a Cy Young winner ready when needed, eh?
The Giants have elected to start Barry Zito in game one. Zito is making a lot of money, but has been somewhat of a disappointment with the Giants. This year he was 15-8 but had an ERA over four. If he doesn’t get it done in Game One, I wouldn’t be surprised to see manager Bruce Bochy turn to LIncecum in game five. The rest of the rotation is set: Madison Bumgarner in Game Two, while Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain will go in the first two games to be played in Detroit.
I don’t think there’s any question the Giants pitching depth gives them an advantage as the series goes on.
But, tonight, and again in Game Five, and maybe even in Game Seven, Justin Verlander will be pitching for Detroit. Verlander is simply the best pitcher in baseball and he’s shown it over the last couple of years. He could be headed to another Cy Young Award, after compiling a 17-8 record with a 2.64 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 238 innings. Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer will follow Verlander.
Both bullpens are good, although after his meltdown early in the postseason, there’s a question mark about Jose Valverde for the Tigers. Manager Jim Leyland went with Phil Coke as the closer in the ALCS and it will be hold your breath time if Papa Grande gets a chance to close.
The Giants have the advantage as a staff, although no one is as good as Verlander.
Offensively, the Giants are better than you think. They were 12th in baseball in runs scored, just behind the Tigers at eleven. They had the fifth highest batting average and eighth best on base percentage. Those humbers are very similar to Detroit. The big difference is in power. San Francisco is 18th in slugging percentage. The Tigers are seventh. The Giants were led by Buster Posey with 23 homers, but after that there was a dropoff to Pablo Sandoval. Angel Pagan had eight.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have a Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera who hammered 44 home runs. Prince Fielder added 30 and Delmon Young 18.
I love the way the Tigers swing the bat. But both AT&T Park and Comerica Park are pitcher friendly. And, for that reason, I like the team with the deeper pitching.
With apologies to Mr. Verlander, my pick is the Giants in seven games.