If the Tigers were going to win a game in this postseason, this one had to be it. Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 1.35) had ben excellent in the postseason and, although he was matching up against another who had been great in Ryan Vogelsong (2-0, 1.42), they had home field advantage. However, just like in the first two games of the series, the pitching wasn’t really the problem– the bats were. The Tigers only managed 5 hits and 5 walks but somehow managed to strand everyone, leaving 14 runners on base as even the big bats of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder weren’t able to rescue them, as they went 1-8 with 5 left on base combined.
Every time the Tigers got a potential rally going, it was shut down. They had first and second with one out in the first when Prince Fielder grounded into an inning ending double play. However, the Giants would not be so inefficient when they got a rally of their own in the second. Hunter Pence walked to lead off the inning, then stole second and took third on a wild pitch. However, he wouldn’t need those extra bases as Gregor Blanco drove one well into the gap which wound up as a triple and easily scored Pence. Blanco would score two batters later when Brandon Crawford drove one back up the middle to make it 2-0.
However, from that point on, both pitchers were essentially untouchable. Vogelsong continued to work out of trouble, and due to an elevated pitch count only lasted 5.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and walking 4 but still shutting out the Tigers. Anibal Sanchez was even better, the only blemish being the two run second inning, finishing up with a gem of 7 innings, 2 earned runs, and 8 strikeouts. Neither team scored at all after the second inning as the relief work was just as stellar as the starting, culminating with the exuberant celebration by Sergio Romo after closing the game to put the Giants up 3-0. The Giants will look for the series sweep tonight as they send Matt Cain (2-2, 3.52) up against Max Scherzer (1-0, 0.82) and, if you have power, I’d advise watching it.