By: David Heck
The Giants took a commanding lead in the World Series last night, going up 3-0 after defeating the Tigers by a score of 2-0 for the second straight game. Here are five things you didn't know about the game.
1. The Giants shut out the Tigers for the second consecutive game – equaling the number of times Detroit was shut out during the regular season. The last American League team to get shut out in back-to-back World Series games was the 1919 Chicago White Sox. And that team was known for...not exactly trying. Eight members of that Chicago "Black Sox" squad were banned from baseball for life for trying to fix the World Series.
The last time any team was shut out in consecutive World Series game was in 1966, when the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to score a run in three straight contests against the Baltimore Orioles.
2. After tossing 5 2/3 scoreless frames on Saturday, Ryan Vogelsong has now allowed just three runs over his first four postseason starts (24 2/3 innings pitched). He is just the second pitcher to start his playoff career with four straight starts in which he went at least five innings and surrendered at most one run. The first to do so was Christy Mathewson.
Vogelsong's ERA during this year's playoffs stands at 1.09. That is the lowest mark for any pitcher with at least 24 innings pitched since Orel Hershiser posted a 1.05 ERA over 42 2/3 frames in 1988.
3. You probably know that the only team to come back from an 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven series was the 2004 Boston Red Sox. However, you probably don't know just how feeble World Series teams have been after going down 0-3: No team has ever made it to Game 6 after going down 0-3 in the World Series. Of the 24 teams to take a 3-0 lead, 20 have gone on to sweep the series. The other four series only made it to Game 5.
4. Tim McCarver likes to argue that Tim Lincecum has extra value as a reliever because he can appear in more games than he could as a starter. That's obviously not true – the thing that matters is innings, not appearances. However, Lincecum has been much more effective as a reliever than he was as a starter during the regular season. He was once again dominant on Saturday, allowing just one baserunner in 2 1/3 innings. In 13 frames this postseason, he has compiled a 0.69 ERA with 17 strikeouts while yielding just three hits and two walks (compared to his 5.18 ERA and 1.47 WHIP during the regular season). Only seven other relievers have posted an ERA that low in at least 13 postseason innings. Of note: Mariano Rivera is the only one to have done more than once, accomplishing the feat four times.
5. The Tigers lineup lacks depth, so the team relies heavily on its one-two punch of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The problem is that neither one has carried his weight in this series, as the two have combined to go just 3-for-19 (.158 average). Fielder has been particularly ineffective, going 1-for-10 while seeing an average of just 2.73 pitches per plate appearance. That's significantly lower than both the 3.71 average he put together during the season and the league's 3.82 average in 2012.
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