Nine to Know: The Giants Sweep Inning-by-Inning

This was a tremendous sweep for a true team as the Giants were nearly perfect in taking down the Tigers. Only briefly trailing in Game 4, the Giants showed what a well-managed team can do to a well-scouted team. Strong pitching, timely hitting, steady and often outstanding defense, and good team chemistry overwhelmed a very good Tigers team.

Here’s s cumulative look at the scoring in each inning of the Giants sweep

1st inning – Giants 1, Tigers 0 – The Giants scored first in this World Series, in the bottom of the 1st of Game 1 on Pablo Sandoval‘s homer. It was the only 1st inning run scored in the Series but set a pattern that continued through each of the games of the Tigers trailing and trailing early. Sandoval was the World Series MVP.

2nd inning – Giants 3, Tigers 0 – Down by two games, the Tigers came home expecting to recover and perhaps sweep. The Giants took the crowd out of Game 3 by scoring twice in the 2nd inning with the big hit being a Gregor Blanco triple. But don’t minimize the role of Hunter Pence who walked, stole second, and advanced to third on an Anibal Sanchez wild pitch. Sanchez was clearly distracted as he allowed Blanco’s triple and then a Brandon Crawford RBI single. Those were the only two runs scored in the Giants 2-0 Game Three victory. Then, in Game 4 the Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead and the message was loud and clear that the Giants would not let up despite holding a three game to none lead.

3rd inning – Giants 3, Tigers 2 – The Tigers took their only lead in the World Series in Game 4, thanks to a Miguel Cabrera  two-run homer. But it was Sandoval’s second homer of Game 1 that may have been the the killer blow in this Series. Marco Scutaro, who was the NLCS MVP and the Giants postseason MVP, singled home a run and he scored on the Sandoval homer to give the Giants a 4-0 lead. That dismissed the inevitability of Justin Verlander and when you do that you have both buoyed the spirits of the Giants and crushed the confidence of the Tigers.

4th inning – Giants 1, Tigers 0 – Nobody was more stunned than Justin Verlander when in the 4th inning of Game 1, Barry Zito slapped a run-scoring single off of him to give San Francisco an insurmountable 5-0 lead. This was the last inning for Verlander who pitched four innings allowing six hits and five runs while the enigmatic Zito went 5.2 scattering six hits and allowing one run.

5th inning – Giants 1, Tigers 0Al Alburquerque was on the mound when Sandoval hit his third homer of Game 1 and told Detroit that the Giants have no fear of any of the Tigers pitchers including those in the bullpen.

6th inning – Giants 2, Tigers 2 – The Tigers scored their first run of the Series in Game 1, but they were trailing 6-0 when it happened and it was a meaningless run. They scored the last run of their Series in Game 4 when Delmon Young homered off Matt Cain to tie the game at three. The difference proved to be, as predicted, in a game of bullpens you didn’t want to be Detroit. The Giants two runs came on a back-breaking two-run homer by Buster Posey in Game 4. This blast was San Francisco’s response to trailing for the first time in the Series. Nothing kills a team more than when their pitcher gives up a lead that their team has just gotten in the previous at bat. While the attention is paid to Posey’s homer off Max Scherzer, don’t forget it was the scratch single by Scutaro (who else?) that started the inning.

7th inning – Giants 3, Tigers 0 -The only point of significance of the Giants two runs in the 7th inning of Game 1 was that it reduced the Tigers to a 24-man roster as the Giants scored a pair of runs off Jose Valverde in his third-of-an-inning appearance almost assuring that had this become a best of thirty-seven Series we would not see Jim Leyland calling for Valverde again. The third Giants run was by far the most critical, and perhaps the most significant, run of the Series and ironically came on a double play. This was the run in Game 2 that gave the Giants a 1-0 lead and ultimately made a winner out of Madison Bumgarner and a hard-luck loser out of Doug Fister.

8th inning – Giants 1, Tigers 0 – This was the run that sealed the deal for the Giants in the Game 2, 2-0, victory. Hunter Pence hit a run-scoring sac fly off Octavio Dotel.

9th inning – Tigers 2, Giants 0 – Don’t be misled by the scoring here, the Tigers scored two meaningless runs in the 9th inning of Game 1 when the Giants were already were leading, 8-1. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer of George Kontos who at least can say he appeared in a World Series game.

10th inning – Giants 1, Tigers 0 – The run that completed the sweep. Not surprisingly it was driven in by Scutaro and not surprisingly scored off of Phil Coke.

One Giants star who was not mentioned in the scoring tallies above was Tim Lincecum. He wasn’t mentioned simply because the Tigers couldn’t touch him. In 4.2 innings, Lincecum allowed one walk, no hits and struck out eight. No sulking by The Freak about not getting a start, he simply improved his value to his current team and conceivably increased his trade value if the Giants put him on the market.

Also don’t underestimate the security that Bruce Bochy had in being able to throw Sergio Romo into games. As his closer, pitched three perfect innings to earn three perfect saves, Jim Leyland always had to wonder if he had a late lead who would his closer be? Coke was Leyland’s choice for a second inning in Game 4 despite only four of Coke’s 66 appearances went two innings during the regular season.

The Giants took early leads and were lights out at the end. In each three inning span, the Tigers only scored two runs.

Check out the scoreboard:

  • Innings 1-3 – Giants 7, Tigers 2
  • Innings 4-6 – Giants 4, Tigers 2
  • Innings 7-10 – Giants 5, Tigers 2