Grading World Series Game 2: Starting pitchers deliver, history doesn't
Game 2 of the World Series evolved into a classic pitcher's duel, so you might guess that pitching in some form or fashion earned high marks from the teacher. But of the rest of Game 3?
|Madison Bumgarner is excited about the results of Game 2 ... and his high grade. (AP)|
SAN FRANCISCO -- Game 2 of the World Series turned into a classic pitcher's duel, so you might guess that pitching in some form or fashion earned high marks from the teacher. But of the rest of Game 3? Let us make with the report cards, which must be signed by a parent and returned to us in a timely manner ...
Starting pitching. Let's combine Doug Fister's and Madison Bumgarner's nifty efforts, shall we? On the night, the San Fran southpaw and the Detroit, um, northpaw teamed up for this sparkling line: 13.0 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 11 K, 3 BB. Of their tidy 200 pitches, a tidy 130 were for strikes. Belly-itchers? Not these two hurling gentlemen. It was a shame that the bullpens had to take over.
The umpiring. Yes, the umpiring. Home-plate ump Dan Iassogna made an outstanding out call on Prince Fielder's attempt to score in the second, and second-base ump Brian O'Nora made an equally excellent out call on Omar Infante's attempted steal in the fourth. O'Nora was at it again in the eighth when he nailed the safe call on Angel Pagan's steal of second. All three calls looked incorrect to the naked eye, but replays revealed all to be spot-on. As well, Iassogna's strike zone was pretty darn accurate all night. We'll dock them a bit for missing Marco Scutaro's close play at first in the third, but that's partly Scutaro's fault for sliding into first base (don't do that). Overall, it was a fine night for the men in blue.
Tiger bullpen. It wasn't necessarily a bad night for the Detroit relief corps, but it wasn't a good one, either. In 2.0 innings of work, Tiger relievers allowed one run of their own to score and also permitted an inherited runner to touch the plate. They also teamed up for three walks. Okay, to be perfectly accurate the damage was done by Drew Smyly alone, but I'm in the mood to hold the collective unit accountable. So there.
Tiger offense. Two things spare Detroit hitters from an "F": one, Madison Bumgarner and the shutdown Giants bullpen played a role in their struggles, and, two, I already have something else in mind for F. So a condemnable "D" it is. The Tigers tallied just three total bases all night and put just two runners in scoring position. They also hit into a double play, whiffed nine times and made two outs on the bases.
Game 2's sense of history. Game 1 stepped up, as a player (Pablo Sandoval) clouted three homers in the World Series game for just the fifth time in history. Well, in the late innings of Game 2, there was presented another opportunity to do something for just the fifth time in the sprawl of baseball history. Entering the bottom of the eighth, the score was 1-0, with the lonesome one run coming on Brandon Crawford's seventh-inning GIDP. As such, Game 2 had a chance -- a darn good chance -- of becoming just the fifth tilt in World Series history to end without either team recording an RBI. But then Hunter Pence ruined everything with his lame-wad sac fly in the eighth. The people say: boo, hiss.