Can the San Francisco Giants’ magic run continue in game two of the World Series at home against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday?
The answer: I wouldn’t bet on it. In game one, the Giants did surprise most pundits (including yours truly) by tagging Justin Verlander for five runs in just four innings. But if you dig a bit deeper, it was primarily two players – Pablo Sandoval and Marco Scutaro – who swung the bat well. (They accounted for six of the ten hits tallied by Giants’ positional players.)
Admittedly, Sandoval, who hit three home runs, swung the bat really well. But presumably, Detroit’s game two pitcher, Doug Fister, will devise a stronger plan against Sandoval. This will likely mean pitching around the third baseman as, despite the fact he had two hits, Buster Posey, who follows Sandoval in the Giants’ lineup, still does not look great at the plate.
One stat that augurs well for Fister: He has historically been strong against National League teams, posting a lifetime 1.98 ERA against clubs from that circuit. As for his opposition, Madison Bumgarner has been woeful in this post-season, having given up ten runs in just eight innings of work. He’s also coming off an eleven-day rest since his last start. While that additional time may have helped him work out some mechanical flaws, it may have also left him rusty. I expect the latter.
The Tigers, on at 1.77, should be able to even the series versus the Giants (2.05), allowing Detroit to go back to home for game three with the match-up deadlocked at one game apiece.