|Bruce Bochy could do no wrong in the World Series. (US Presswire)|
DETROIT -- The Giants have not only won the World Series, but they've also become the first NL team to sweep the Fall Classic since the 1990 Reds. They also limited their opponents to a total of just six runs. Now let us dispense our final grades ...
Bruce Bochy. Every tactical move he made in the World Series seemed to work out, and Game 4 was no exception. Leaving Matt Cain out there for the seventh when he'd visibly labored in the sixth? Cain retires the side on 11 pitches. Going to your lefty specialist to face the heart of the Detroit order in a tie game? Jeremy Affeldt wound up striking out four straight hitters. Dubious decision to make Ryan Theriot the DH? He scored the eventual winning run. Charmed life or insights we can't grasp? Whatever the case, Bochy could do no wrong on Sunday night.
Starting pitchers. It was, as the grade suggests, a solid "B" effort by both Matt Cain and Max Scherzer. Their combined numbers aren't bad, especially considering the strong, hitter-friendly winds that blew for most of the night: 13 1/3 IP, 6 R, 12 H, 13 K, 3 BB, 3 HR. Of their 192 combined pitches, 126 went for strikes.
Tigers offense. They all but embarrassed themselves in Games 2 and 3 and for the meaningful innings of Game 1. In Game 4, however, they at least showed a bit of life. They managed just five hits on the night, but put things into perspective -- by the sixth inning of Game 4, they'd matched their run total from the previous 27 innings. Scoring 3.0 runs per game is no way to win, but in light of their previous struggles it was a leap toward mediocrity. So a "C" it is.
Prince Fielder. His 0-for-4 with two whiffs and two runners left on base concluded a gravely disappointing World Series for the Tigers' marquee offseason addition. Fielder ended the Fall Classic batting just .071 and with fewer RBI than Barry Zito. He'd have an "F" if not for our musical entertainment for the evening.
Demi Lovato's version of the National Anthem. On Twitter, we quipped that Ms. Lovato's rendering was "more painful than 19th-century dentistry." We'll stand by that assessment. I hate to drag this advice howling from the vaults, but: just sing the damned song and be on your way. If you dare, here it is, in all its foul-smelling self-absorption …