Ezra Shaw

Giants sweep Tigers, take World Series

Marco Scutaro got the game-winning hit in the 10th, and Sergio Romo struck out Miguel Cabrera looking to give the Giants a championship for the second time in three years.

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Giants' World Series celebration, in GIFs!

Reliving the San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series celebration from Sunday night with a collection of the best GIFs from the wild scene.


Most Valuable Panda

The slugger's three-homer performance in Game 1 highlights his World Series accomplishments.


Giants beat Tigers 4-3 to complete Series sweep

It wasn't easy, but Marco Scutaro's two-out RBI single in the 10th was the difference as the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 4 of the World Series, to complete the sweep and capture their second championship in three years.


Still 3-3 after 9 frames, so Game 4 goes to extras

In the bottom of the eighth, Bruce Bochy summoned Jeremy Affeldt from the bullpen, and the lefty struck out Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Delmon Young.

In the top of the ninth, Jim Leyland summoned lefty Phil Coke from the bullpen, and the lefty struck out Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, and Gregor Blanco.

Which set up the bottom of the ninth, with Game 4 still tied 3-3.

With Affeldt still pitching for the Giants, Andy Dirks struck out. Jhonny Peralta came up next, and hit a fly ball to center field that seemed simple enough ... until the wind took ahold, and pushed it to the warning track, where a surprised Ángel Pagán hauled it in, more than 400 feet from the plate. Here was Affeldt's reaction:


With Affeldt having reached 29 pitches, Bruce Bochy yanked him in favor of righty Santiago Casilla, who nailed Omar Infante on his left hand, sending Infante straight to the clubhouse. Danny Worth entered as a pinch-runner, with Gerald Laird coming up.

Laird hit Casilla's first pitch to Pablo Sandoval, who tossed to second base for the inning-ending fielder's choice.

And so we're heading to the 10th inning, the score still 3-3. With Worth taking over at second base for Infante.



From SB Nation contributor, Matt Sussman:

That's a good idea!


Affeldt gets in, out of trouble to send game to 9t

Leading off the bottom of the eighth inning, in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, Jeremy Affeldt walked Quintin Berry. Berry, 27, has 177 career at-bats in his career. Fielder and Cabrera have 581 combined career home runs. Walking Berry ahead of them, dare I say, was a bad idea.

But Affeldt struck out Cabrera on three pitches -- curve, fastball, change, with the last two swinging strikes. That brought up Prince Fielder, who had some measure of success against Affeldt over his career, going 4-for-12. Alas, the small-sample theatre didn't help him much, as Fielder took a strike, flinched out of the way on a curveball that dropped in for a strike, and waved at a fastball for strike three.

Delmon Young followed, and Affeldt gave him the same treatment, striking out the side and stranding the leadoff walk.


Dotel holds Giants, still 3-3 in bottom of the 8th

The Giants didn't score in the seventh inning, and neither did the Tigers.

In the top of the eighth, Marco Scutaro led off and Octavio Dotel walked him and Orel Hershiser said, Let the adventure begin: the Tiger bullpen.

Sounds like the first in a series of action movies starring Antonio Banderas, doesn't it? Or maybe Benicio del Toro?

Jim Leyland, even with Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit getting loose in the bullpen, stuck with Dotel. It was 43 degrees and it was raining and Dotel probably didn't know he was signing up for this last winter. But he somehow got Pablo Sandoval to hit a chopper straight to Prince Fielder, who stepped on first base before getting Scutaro caught in a rundown; eventually Dotel himself applied the tag.

And Dotel's best was still to come, as he struck out Buster Posey swinging to end the Giants' inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jeremy Affeldt replaced Giants starter Matt Cain, who threw 102 pitches and gave up two home runs.

Oh, and the score's still 3-3...


Giants threaten, don't score

It's a tie game in the World Series, which is always exciting. And in this tie game, the Giants got their leadoff hitter on in the top of the seventh. Gregor Blanco punched a single to right to get the Giants started.

Blanco moved to second when DESIGNATED HITTER RYAN THERIOT grounded out on a hit-and-run. Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought in lefty Drew Smyly to face Brandon Crawford, who flied out to shallow center.

Leyland played the match-up game again, bringing in right-hander Octavio Dotel to face switch-hitter Angel Pagan. Whatever hunch Leyland was working on paid off, as Pagan grounded harmlessly to second to end the inning.

The Giants and Tigers are deadlocked heading into the bottom of the seventh. I can't feel my toes! Can you? Good for you.


How NOT to catch a Buster Posey home run.

The only thing worse than Buster Posey hitting a go-ahead home run if you're a Tigers fan?

Buster Posey hitting a home run that bounces off your forehead if you're a Tigers fan.

This is not a theoretical construct. In the top of the sixth inning, Buster Posey did pick on a hanging change-up from Max Scherzer and hit a home run that traveled 363 feet, then went between a Tiger fan's hands and bounced off his skull.


Hey, maybe he's just trying to show solidarity with Doug Fister. But you gotta figure that one's gonna leave a mark, even with the winter headgear cushioning the blow. You also gotta figure he didn't wind up with the ball, either.

Unless "starring in a .gif!" is some recompense, you gotta figure this guy really needs the Tigers to win Game 4 or this will be a pretty lousy night. But then that's true of just about everyone else in the ballpark tonight, too.


Delmon Young tater ties game for Tigers

Buster Posey drilled a changeup into the left-field stands to give the Giants a lead, but it was a short-lived lead. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Matt Cain got Miguel Cabrera on a strikeout and Prince Fielder on a pop-up for two quick outs. All that was left in the inning was Delmon Young. You know, good ol' hacky Delmon Young.

Well, Delmon took a hanging slider to the opposite field for a solo homer to tie the game. Right field is the field for home runs on Sunday night, in case you were wondering.

After the Young homer, Andy Dirks rapped a single into center, hoping to give the Tigers a two-out rally. Jhonny Peralta battled Cain, hitting several balls hard foul, but he flew out to the warning track in left for the last out of the inning.

It's a new, three-inning ballgame in Game 4 of the World Series.


Posey's two-run homer in 6th gives Giants 3-2 lead

Max Scherzer was cruising. Entering the sixth inning, he'd thrown only 67 pitches while striking out six Giants, and his Tigers were ahead 2-1. But this World Series ... Marco Scutaro led off the sixth with a high chopper that became an infield hit. And after Scherzer struck out Pablo Sandoval, he hung a change-up to Buster Posey and ...


... the Tigers' lead -- their first lead in this entire World Series -- had disappeared with one mighty swing.

Scherzer struck out Hunter Pence and retired Brandon Belt on a fly ball, but the damage was done. Scherzer's still thrown only 83 pitches despite eight strikeouts, but he and his Tigers are now trailing the Giants, 3-2.

Meanwhile, Matt Cain entered the bottom of the sixth having thrown 75 pitches, and should be good for another inning or two unless he gets into real trouble. Which he doesn't, usually.


Tigers holding 2-1 lead into 5th

The San Francisco Giants are trailing for the first time in the 2012 World Series. Maybe they're pressing. Maybe they're not thinking about it. I'm thinking about it. Kind of pressing, too.

In the top of the fourth, though, Brandon Belt worked out a one-out walk to start a mini-rally. And with a 3-1 count, Gregor Blanco took an outside fastball:


That'd be #5 up there, which wasn't especially close. But, if you'll notice, the first pitch probably should have been called a strike, so it all evens out. Maybe.

Just underneath the #1 is a #6, and that was a swinging strike three that turned into a double play, as Gerald Laird gunned down Belt to end the inning.

The Tigers went quietly in the bottom-half of the inning, though I'm not sure how. The Fox team was interviewing Justin Verlander, and he was so charming! Man, I wish that baseball could be a bunch of dudes talking instead of this nonsense with balls and bats and bases.


Cabrera's wind-aided homer gives Tigers 2-1 lead

Well, the Detroit Tigers are on the board. It was reaching the point where you had to think maybe the Tigers simply won't score again in 2012. But of course, that could easily have changed with one swing of Miguel Cabrera's bat, or Prince Fielder's.

And so it did.

In the bottom of the third, the Tigers got a man aboard when Matt Cain issued a one-out walk -- on a pitch that just missed the bottom edge of the strike zone -- to Austin Jackson. When Jackson took off for second base on a steal attempt, Quintin Berry bunted toward third base and was just nipped at first base, with Brandon Belton making a nice scoop of Pablo Sandoval's throw.

That brought up Miguel Cabrera. In the first inning, Cain walked him. This time, Cain left a fastball up and ...


Ahhhhhh. The Tigers' 20-inning scoreless streak was finally over, with a little help from a stiff breeze to right field. Hunter Pence thought he had a play on the ball, and Miguel Cabrera thought he'd just missed. But that breeze was just enough to give the Tigers their first runs since Game 1, and their first lead in the entire World Series.

Heading to the fourth inning in Detroit, it's now Tigers 2, Giants 1.


Forgotten hitters put Giants up 1-0

Well, it's not like you'll ever forget Hunter Pence. But as an offensive contributor, Hunter Pence has been mostly forgotten this postseason. His limited contributions have been broken bats, walks, and bleeders through the infield.

In the top of the second, though, Pence drove a ball into the left-center gap: his best-hit ball of the postseason, and there isn't much competition. Pence would have had a triple, except the ball bounced over the fence for an automatic double.

That brought up Brandon Belt, who has been hitless this entire World Series. He's struck out looking 12 times in the postseason and, like Pence, hasn't been driving the ball at all. But on the first pitch from Scherzer, Belt blistered a ball deep into the right-field corner, missing a home run by a couple of feet. Pence scored, and Belt sped around second for a triple when the ball took a strange bounce.

Gregor Blanco grounded out with the infield in, and Ryan Theriot lined out to right, and the Giants settled for the one run.


Scherzer dazzles, but Tigers still can't score

Well, Tiger starter Max Scherzer looked fantastic in the first inning against the Giants, setting them down 1-2-3 and striking out both Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval. But of course, pitching hasn't really been the Tigers' problem. Sure, they gave up eight runs in Game 1. But Detroit's hurlers held the Giants to just two runs in both Game 2 and Game 3. Which did them exactly zero good, since the Detroit's hitters scored exactly zero runs in those games.

So Scherzer's looking for some help from his mates.

He's still looking. Austin Jackson led off the bottom of the first with a grounder to second base; Quintin Berry, after rifling a long drive into the right-field corner that landed foul by less than a foot, did the same. Miguel Cabrera drew a walk from Matt Cain ... but then Cain struck out Prince Fielder, who's now just 1 for 11 in the World Series.


Orange rubber bands or not, Lincecum dominates

Despite MLB telling Tim Lincecum to remove rubber bands on his wrist, the new reliever has continued to dominate the postseason and World Series


Tigers stick with similar lineup for Game 4

On Saturday, the Tigers were shut out for the second straight game in the World Series, and there was some early speculation there might be changes afoot in the lineup. Jim Leyland decided to stick with the same group in the same permutation at first, but Alex Avila was scratched from the lineup :

1. Austin Jackson - CF
2. Quintin Berry* - LF
3. Miguel Cabrera - 3B
4. Prince Fielder* - 1B
5. Delmon Young - DH
6. Andy Dirks* - RF
7. Jhonny Peralta - SS
8. Omar Infante - 2B
9. Gerald Laird - C

*. Max Scherzer - RHP

There was some scuttlebutt about moving Andy Dirks into the #2 hole in place of Berry, but the only move Leyland made had to do with an injury, as Avila took a foul tip off the wrist in Game 1, and it forced him out of the Game 4 lineup.


Giants' Game 4 lineup features Ryan Theriot, DH

The Giants had five options to DH in Detroit. For Game 4, they're using their worst one against Max Scherzer. Let's give a World Series welcome to Ryan Theriot, designated hitter!

1. Angel Pagan# - CF
2. Marco Scutaro - 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval# - 3B
4. Buster Posey - C
5. Hunter Pence - RF
6. Brandon Belt* - 1B
7. Gregor Blanco* - LF
8. Ryan Theriot - DH
9. Brandon Crawford* - SS

Matt Cain - P

This is the lineup that Bruce Bochy is throwing out there to try for a World Series championship. Well, alright. Hector Sanchez had a dismal showing in the lineup yesterday, so the early speculation had Aubrey Huff replacing him, or Joaquin Arias starting at third and pushing Pablo Sandoval to DH.

Instead, it's Theriot against the right-hander Max Scherzer. It was a running joke among Giants fans that the Giants should have put prodigal prospect Todd Linden on the playoff roster to DH. In retrospect ... probably wouldn't have been the worst idea.

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