The San Francisco Giants created the postseason of a lifetime in 2012. We know that because just when one unbelievable scenario after another is described, up pop three fantastic stories that go with each scenario and simply must be told.
How rare is it for an MLB team to make the World Series? How about winning the World Series two out of three years?
It's less likely than a McDonald's meal actually being "happy". This will happen first: Woody Allen deciding to film the definitive Three Stooges bio, set in Paris. What I'm trying to say is, so much has to happen for a team to be in a position to even make one Series. What the Giants achieved is epic and certainly suggests the foundation for a dynasty.
Along the way, there was a plethora of stuff going on. The following are observations and comments from The Giants Cove staff and extended family, many of whom are either out of work or are simply unskilled:
> Favorite tee-shirt seen on the streets in San Francisco: "Let Pablo Eat". A tee-shirt that needs to be made: "Whatever You Do, Don't Get Between Prince and his Food Bowl".
> Initial impressions of the Detroit Tigers during Game 1 of the Series were not very positive.
-- My season ticket partner and I were amazed at how badly Delmon Young played left field. Sure, he's the Tigers' DH and he was in Game 1 for his bat but he played the entire game about three steps in front of the warning track in left. Even when light hitting left-handers like Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford were at the plate. He just looked scared out there and that is not a good first impression.
-- Twice Young had to throw the ball in from the outfield during play. Both times the ball did not make the infield, this throws landing in the outfield grass before tumbling into the infield. Both times the throws were dramatically off-line.
-- While the Giants have the somewhat overweight Pablo Sandoval on their roster, a number of Detroit players made Pablo look svelte by comparison. In the pre-game ceremonies, when the Tigers were introduced and took their places along the first base line, I was amazed at how many of them looked... well, really fat and out of condition.
We all know Prince Fielder is a human recreational vehicle, but Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, Jose Valverde, and Octavio Dotel fairly waddled out of the dugout and onto the field. Prince Fielder is listed on the Detroit website at 275 pounds. Right. And my estimated net worth is over 4 million dollars.
If Delmon Young weighs 240 pounds and Cabrera is 240 pounds (as is officially claimed) then I am just a few pounds away from a successful career modeling speedos. I mean those dudes were chubby.
-- Watching Tigers' starter Justin Verlander was absolutely fascinating. We tracked his pitches and their speed and he seemed to have a definite plan. Verlander pitched the first four Giant hitters (Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, and Buster Posey) this way: 94 MPH fastballs without a lot of movement. And one of those pitches was sent over the center field wall by Sandoval.
To start the bottom of 2nd inning, Verlander changed up. Literally. Virtually all his pitches were 84 MHP breaking balls and change-ups. And he got three consecutive outs. Then came the 3rd inning and Verlander seemed to simply mix up 94 MPH fastballs with 84-89 MPH breaking and off-speed pitches.
Giants hitters caught up with all of it and scored three runs in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, and 1 in the 5th before running Verlander out of the game.
We thought three things: 1) where was Justin Verlander's 100 MPH fastball? 2) Why did he seem to have only two consistent speeds? And, 3) why did Manager Jim Leyland leave him in the game for 98 pitches and 5 earned runs when it was clear he wasn't bringing his "A" game?
> The San Francisco Giants postseason and World Series sweep was achieved because of the contributions of virtually every player on the team. But none of it happens without the contributions of these four Giant players:
|2012 Postseason pitching||W/L||ERA||IP||SO||BB|
|2012 Posteason hitting||AVG||AB||H||RBI||R|
|Pablo Sandoval WS MVP||.364||66||24||13||9|
|Marco Scutaro NLCS MVP||.328||64||21||8||11|