Giants blank Tigers in second straight game, move within one win of World Series championship

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Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong wasn’t especially sharp, allowing five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings, but he kept the Tigers scoreless and his bullpen continued that pattern of zeroes as San Francisco won Game 3 of the World Series 2-0 on Saturday in Detroit to take a 3-0 Fall Classic lead.

Tim Lincecum was again dominant in mid-relief, yielding no hits and fanning three in 2 1/3 innings before handing the ball over to Sergio Romo for the save. Lincecum now has a stellar 0.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings as a reliever this postseason.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez had one shaky inning but was otherwise good, surrendering only two runs in seven total frames while punching out eight and walking only one. But his offense was of no help.

Miguel Cabrera, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years and the likely American League MVP, finished 1-for-4 and left three runners on base. He’s batting just .267 with a .765 OPS in these playoffs. Prince Fielder was also listless, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts while watching his postseason slash line plummet to .188/.250/.250. The big man has just one home run and three RBI since the playoffs began.

In all, the Tigers left 14 runners on base. And they weren’t able to manage a single extra-base hit.

As the Detroit batting order continued to sputter, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval padded his World Series MVP case with a double and a single. He’s two hits shy of the all-time postseason hits record, shared by David Freese (2011), Darin Erstad (2002) and Marquis Grissom (1995).

San Francisco can win it all on Sunday night when Matt Cain duels the Tigers’ Max Scherzer.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.