The San Francisco Giants are proving themselves a force to be recognized against the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers (88-74) were playing very strong ball to take the AL Central as Champions, routing the Chicago White Sox by only three games in the last days of the regular season for the title. Moving on to the LDCS, the Tigers playing Oakland A’s, tied 2-2 in the series, won the last game to advance to the ALCS. The Tigers swept the Yankees handily in four games, giving their team five days of rest ~ waiting to see if they would be traveling to St. Louis or San Francisco. Now, in the World Series ~ many will argue the five days off was not to the Tiger’s benefit.
The Giants (94-68) handled their division over the laboring LA Dodgers to take the NL West Division to reign as Champs. Moving on in their LDCS against the Boston Red Sox, performing much as the Giants had done ~ taking the tied series from the Red Sox, winning the last game. In the NLCS, they faced the St. Louis Cardinals, coming back from a 3-1 deficit Cardinal lead, to take the series and advance to the World Series.
Along with a very strong pitching staff ~ starting and relief ~ for the Giants, SP Ryan Vogelsong has been their story maker. Vogelson is not a 20+ year old rising star. He is 35 years of age and has had a roller-coaster career. However, he has not given up to achieve the level in which he now enjoys ~ coming full circle since 2000 when he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants to begin his career. He was traded to the Pirates, had to have Tommy John’s surgery early in his career. 2004 was his first full season in the majors, but was not effective in his three year stint on the mound and released by the Pirates. He traveled to Japan, playing in the Nippon Professional League until 2010. Vogelsong signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies.”He was released on July 15, 2010. Then signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 28, 2010, but was released at the end of the season.”
“In 2011, Vogelsong signed a minor league contract to return to the San Francisco Giants with an invitation to spring training. On April 17, 2011, the Giants purchased his contract to replace the injured Barry Zito. On April 28, 2011, after making two relief appearances, Vogelsong got his first start since the 2004 season against his former club, the Pirates. He held the host Pirates to two earned runs on four hits and struck out eight en route to a 5–2 Giants victory and his first MLB win since September 2005.”
Since his return to the Giants, he proved himself worthy of a spot in the regular line-up, and he certainly has proven his expertise this season in the playoffs. He has worked hard throughout the years even with adversity along the way. But his biggest fan, the one who has encouraged him most, is his wife of six years, Nicole ~ never letting him give up. “Vogelsong was awarded the 2011 Willie Mac Award, given annually to the Giant who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by Willie McCovey throughout McCovey’s long career.” And, also, “Vogelsong was named Giants Breakout Player of the Year by MLB.com for the 2011 season.”
Last night’s game was another commanding game for Vogelsong, only allowing the Tiger’s 5 hits, with three strike outs ~but did walk four. He was retired in the sixth with two outs on the board and a walk for Dirks. Giants RP Lincecum came in and controlling the situation, shut the Tigers down and left Dirks stranded. Between SP Ryan Vogelson, RP Tim Lincecum and CP Sergio Romo ~ the Tigers saw no runs. The Giants now lead the series, 3-0.
If there was a bright side to the Tigers losing ~ would be that SP Anibal Sanchez, even though allowing two runs, he and the bullpen held the Giants to zero runs after the second inning. However, the Tigers just could not put it together offensively ~ not even their Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera. He stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the fifth ~ two outs on the board … the Tigers mighty hitter had a pop-up fly to shortstop.
As much as the Tigers experienced a remarkable sweep over the Yankees ~ the Giants are looking for a sweep over the Tigers in today’s game. With almost flawless games, the Giants have only allowed the Tigers three runs in Game 1. They have shutout the Tigers in Games 2 and 3, 2-0 in each game. With very strong offense, the Giants have performed with great defensive plays to keep their team just one game away from being the World Series Champions. The rath of the “Giant” that was felt by the St. Louis Cardinals … now has been unleashed upon the Tigers.
The last World Series sweep was by the Boston Red Sox over the Colorado Rockies in 2007. The last time the Giants had a four game sweep was 58 years ago over the Cleveland Indians, in 1954. Even though, the Giants are not without being swept themselves. In 1989, they were taken out by the Oakland A’s. Today’s Giants have a very good chance of making history for themselves.
To all ~ enjoy your NFL Sunday and ~ just maybe a World Series for the history book.
Always ~ Elichap