24 hours remain…
The Giants win over the Cards kinda scares the Swami. Teams that come back from 3-1 deficits are on a roll. The Giants have won 6 win-or-go-home games this postseason. To say that they are on a roll is putting it mildly. They are on fire.
My hopes were a long series, with the injury-plagued Cards coming out on top, so we could dish back what they handed us in 06. Sadly, it is not to be. We now face a team we have never faced in the postseason, and have only faced a handful of times in the regular season, with the W-L being an even split.
At least the games out west for the World Series still run on eastern time. No late nights.
Let’s breakdown the teams, shall we?
We know what we have: Verlander, Fister, Sanchez, Scherzer. Leyland won’t change it up unless it goes the distance. Then we will see JV three times, the last time on short rest.
The Giants are sending up Zito in Game 1. They haven’t announced the remaining rotation officially, Their ace, Matt Cain, just pitched Game 7 of the NLCS last night, so it is unlikely we will see him until at least Game 3 or 4. With Zito being the matchup against us, expect us to be favored in Game 1 and Game 5 if necessary. The rest of their rotation: Bumgarner (who is showing fatigue), Vogelsong, and possibly Tim Lincecum, can’t hold a candle to any of our starters, but could stop our big guns, especially in any games played in San Francisco. The park there is like Comerica, a spacious park, not friendly to home run hitters. The Giants have a postseason ERA of 3.88, with opponents batting .252 against them, while we have an ERA of 1.02, with the A’s and Yankees only batting .162 against our starters.
We know we have issues. The Giants has been solid. Of the 5 losses the Giants have had in this postseason, all were from their starters, which by the way, are also responsible for all the wins too. But it proves their bullpen can hold the opponent, while ours…well, if Benoit or Valverde is used, we have problems. I could see if we had a 12-0 lead bringing them in, but leave the closing to Coke. He would fare better against the Giants predominately left-handed lineup anyway.
EDGE: Giants, but barely.
We were silent in the ALDS, but roared to life in the ALCS. Everybody was getting hits, stringing together hits into runs. Maybe it was the Yankees pitching, maybe our guys finally got into their groove. It was great seeing guys like Delmon, Peralta, and Avila step up into the spotlight, when Prince and Miggy were being shut down. Berry and Dirks played exceptionally well. The Giants, however, play like that all the time. Buster Posey is a line-drive hitter. He lead the team in all the major batting catagories this season, but he was the only Giant to hit over 20 home runs this season, and one of three to hit over 10 (the other two being Pablo Sandoval and the suspended Melky Cabrera). They also have the dangerous Hunter Pence, who is having an off year in this postseason, but if he picks up will make us pay for our mistakes.
EDGE: Draw, depending on location of game.
Most experts are calling for a long series, 6 or 7 games. Even the poll on ESPN SportsNation has it going as long. I say…Tigers in 5. The Swami has spoken. Go Get ‘Em Tigers!
P.S.: If you want to be REALLY cool to the Swami, go to my Twitter account (@MCSportsSwami), find the tweet tagged #GloveSpike, and retweet it before midnight. This is a pic of my son Alex, who has been imitating Phil Coke since Game 4 ended. Fortunately, the Tigers are giving away tickets to a game for pics like these. Swami REALLY wants to go, so retweet this please.