World Series Game 3: San Francisco Giants Continue to Silence Detroit’s Bats

Ryan Vogelsong

The Detroit Tigers entered game three of the World Series desperate for a win. The Tigers were already facing the obstacle of history as Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune noted, “only seven teams in the last 50 years have come back from a 2-0 deficit, the last being the 1996 Yankees against the Braves.” Now Detroit must try to accomplish what no team in the history of baseball has ever done—come back after losing the first three games of the World Series.

In game three, the Tigers faced the obstacle of reigniting their quiet bats against Ryan Vogelsong. Going into game three of the World Series, Vogelsong was pitching like a man possessed:

2 0 19 11 3 6 18 .89 1.42

But Detroit was countering with the strong postseason pitching of Anibal Sanchez:

1 1 13.1 8 2 5 10 .98 1.35

Unfortunately for Detroit fans, San Francisco picked up where they left off in game two and took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Hunter Pence led off the second with a walk and stole second. Sanchez threw a wild pitch and Pence took third. Gregor Blanco tripled, scoring Pence. Brandon Crawford singled to center field scoring Blanco giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. The two runs were all San Francisco would need on the night as they went on to shutout the Tigers and take a 3-0 series lead.

While a 2-0 lead in the second inning usually is not a lead that would concern the Tigers, there were multiple factors that quickly rendered game three with an ominous hue for Detroit: Vogelsong was riding an unexpected wave of excellence, the Tigers had only scored three total runs in the series and Sanchez had thrown 47 pitches in two innings.

Even MLB’s official Twitter account tweeted the following after the Giants took a 2-0 lead:

By the fifth inning Vogelsong was cruising and the tweets about the Tigers started to pile up:



The Tigers almost got the crowd to explode in the fifth. Detroit loaded the bases with one out but couldn’t deliver a run as Quintin Berry struck out and triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera popped up to end the inning. By getting out of the inning unscathed, Vogelsong kept his impressive streak alive of “three consecutive starts allowing one earned run or fewer, tied for the most in a single postseason in Giants history” (ESPN). It also extended the Tigers scoreless streak to 14 innings. Through the fifth inning the Tigers were hitting .192 and had struck out 20 times in the Series.

Vogelsong would depart after walking Andy Dirks with two outs in the sixth. His final line on the night: 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 3 strike outs. Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post noted on Twitter that Giants pitchers had allowed two earned runs in their last 38 2/3 innings up to that point in the game—good for a 0.47 ERA.

The Tigers got solid pitching themselves from Sanchez. His final line: 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strike outs.

But pitching was not, and has not been Detroit’s problem this series. Their bats are simply non-existent. Not only has Detroit not scored a run in two straight games, they’ve barely threatened to score runs. Prince Fielder and Cabrera look like shells of their regular season selves and almost every break has fallen San Francisco’s way.

As we were reminded many times during the FOX broadcast of game three, no team has ever come back after trailing three games to none in a World Series. The Tigers will try to change that starting tomorrow night at 8:07 p.m.




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Tom Fitzgerald