World Series 2012: Tigers vs. GiantsThe reason teams play a 162-game regular season schedule is to reach this point: the World Series. No, it's not secular holiday like Super Bowl Sunday. It is the original matchup between the best of the best. Look at other championship events. They steal the name. The World Series of Poker. The World Series of Pop Culture Trivia.
A campaign which began in April has boiled down to this moment: Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants. American League pennant winner vs. National League pennant winner. Best of seven series. The World Series opens with Game 1 this evening in San Francisco's AT&T Park.
How did the two teams arrive at this point? The Tigers trailed the Chicago White Sox most of the regular season in the AL Central. Not until the waning days of September did the Tigers catch the White Sox. In fact, as late as September 25, the two teams were tied atop the division. The Tigers needed all five games to eliminate the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS, but they swept the New York Yankees in the ALCS to win the pennant. Detroit hasn't played a game since Thursday, October 18.
San Francisco easily won the NL West with an eight-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only did they need all five games to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, they had to win the final three games on the road just to survive losing both games at home. To make matters even more difficult, they stretched the NLCS to a full seven games against the St. Louis Cardinals. After trailing three-games-to-one, the won the final three games to clinch the NL pennant on a rainy Monday night in front of their home crowd.
Here are the probable pitchers with 2012 postseason stats:
Game 1: Tigers at Giants (Wednesday, October 24)
Justin Verlander (3-0, 0.74 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (1-0, 1.74 ERA)
Game 2: Tigers at Giants (Thursday, October 25)
Doug Fister (0-0, 1.35 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 11.25 ERA)
Game 3: Giants at Tigers (Saturday, October 27)
Ryan Vogelsong (2-0, 1.42 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 1.35 ERA)
Game 4: Giants at Tigers (Sunday, October 28)
Matt Cain (2-2, 3.52 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (1-0, 0.82 ERA)
Game 5: Giants at Tigers* (Monday, October 29)
Game 6: Tigers at Giants* (Wednesday, October 31)
Game 7: Tigers at Giants* (Thursday, November 1)