Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baseball's Over: 2012 Edition

Caption: San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro hits a bloop single off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke to drive in the winning run in the final game of the 2012 World Series.

Image credit: Screenshot of Major League Baseball/Fox Sports broadcast by Cujo359.

Somehow, it seems appropriate that a bloop single from a Giants player who is having his best season at age 36 is an appropriate way to close out this series. Marco Scutaro drove in Ryan Theriot, who was playing the role of designated hitter for the National League team, in the top of the tenth inning. Then relief pitcher Sergio Romo, who had to take over the role of closer when Brian Wilson was injured, retired the top of the Detroit Tigers' batting order to preserve the win.

There are a lot of sports "experts" who are probably wondering, as this guy did, how they could have gotten this series so wrong. Most all of them picked Detroit to win in a walk. That the Giants won instead should prove, if any proof is needed, that there's usually something these guys forget about. In this case, they seem to have forgotten that a team that is as scrappy as this year's Giants proved to be tend to play above expectations. This time was no exception. Plus, as some of the Fox commentators noted tonight, the Giants clearly have one of the best pitching staffs in the league.

Even though it was a sweep, only the first game was a lopsided win. I don't think the Tigers have anything to be ashamed of. The thing to remember about this game is that teams often match up in ways that don't make sense. How a team's batters are able to deal with another team's pitchers, and their defensive strategy, can be a hit or miss thing. When guys like Marco Scutaro and Gregor Blanco end up being two of the most valuable players in the postseason, it's pretty clear that in a series of just a few games anything can happen.

It was an entertaining Series, perhaps because I didn't have a favorite this time. Until recently at least, neither of these teams had been appearing in their respective pennant races. On that score alone, it was more interesting than usual. But excellent play and close games made it a good one.

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