Good thing I didn’t put any money on the Tigers as I predicted that they would beat the St. Louis Cardinals this year.
That’s what is great about sports though, any team can win on any given day. The Giants proved this after trailing the Cincinnati Reds two games to nothing and then winning the next three games to take the NLDS. They were also down three games to one in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals and were counted out again. But won the next three games to advance to the World Series.
When they got to the World Series there was no looking back as they jumped all over the Detroit Tigers and won four straight games. The Giants outscored them 16-6 in those games and shut them out twice. Pablo Sandoval set the tone in the very first game by going 4 for 4 with three home runs and four runs batted in. With this incredible feat he joined an elite club with Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols being the only other players to homer three times in a World Series game.
Buster Posey was the National League Batting Champion during the regular season with a .336 average and also added timely hits throughout the playoffs. Posey winning a batting title is impressive since many catchers take a beating during the course of a game and as a result their averages suffer. This isn’t the case with this young catcher as he has already won two World Series Championships and has a career average of .314 since joining the MLB in 2009.
History has proven that teams who play more games throughout the playoffs are more likely to win and teams who win the first game of the World Series almost always win the championship. Even though the San Francisco Giants seemed to be the underdogs in this match-up, the odds were actually in their favor. After playing a total of 16 postseason games versus the Tigers 13 games and dominating the first game of the World Series, the Giants were showing that history does in fact repeat itself.
Basically it came down to the Detroit Tigers waiting a week to face San Francisco after they had swept the Yankees. The Tigers were ice cold and never recovered while the Giants were red-hot and on a roll with great pitching performances from Bary Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Sergio Romo. History has also shown that pitching wins championships, because the other team can’t win if they aren’t scoring. Sergio Romo earned 3 saves in the World Series and recorded the final out of the championship game as well.
The other great thing about the San Francisco Giants is that they accomplished all of this without one of their star outfielders, Melky Cabrera. He was hitting .354 before being suspended for the second half of the season for using performance enhancing drugs. Cabrera was eligible to resume playing in the playoffs, but the Giants said no as they didn’t want to disrupt the current chemistry of the team. This was a great call by their organization in my opinion and it obviously was the right decision, since they are now World Champions.
With Melky’s absence hard-working players like Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Sergio Romo, Ryan Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan and Ryan Theriot stepped up with a true team effort. San Francisco definitely didn’t have the superstars like Detroit with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young, Justin Verlander, Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta, Doug Fister, etc. But they proved that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on individuals like the Tigers did and as the New York Yankees do every year only to lose.
It’s truly refreshing to see great teams with amazing chemistry rise to the top versus the deep pockets of other organizations.
Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see how the current NBA season plays out as the Los Angeles Lakers continue to be the New York Yankees of basketball by acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the off-season. Or if the Miami Heat will defend their title while the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder try to be the underdogs.
In the NFL we have already seen some surprises in the current season with the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears having the best records in the league.
As for the NHL, they continue to ruin their sport with greedy Gary Bettman in charge. The whole season is in jeopardy and soon to be cancelled. Games through the end of November and the Winter Classic have already been called off. If they ever decide to quit fighting over money and resume playing, they will be lucky if they have any fans left.
Thankfully there is still junior hockey, college hockey, the NFL, college football, the NBA and college basketball left to entertain us in the sports world.