The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in game three of the World Series, taking a three games to none series lead.
Saturday's game three was more of the same in comparison to Thursday's game two. The Giants pitching staff didn't exactly slice and dice the Tigers offense, but they didn't allow any runs….and at the end of the day, that's the most important part of pitching. Starter Ryan Vogelsong had an uninspiring performance, allowing five hits and walking four in 5 2/3 while striking out just three, but the San Francisco bullpen threw 3 1/3 no-hit innings once he left the game, highlighted by Tim Lincecum continuing to dominate as a reliever.
The Tigers really got nothing going against Vogelsong and the Giants staff. They didn't pick up one extra base hit during the evening, and went just 0/4 with runners in scoring position. The team put two runners on in the first, and a Prince Fielder double play ended the inning quickly. The same thing happened in the third with two runners on, only a double play ball from Quintin Berry ended the inning. The last chance for the Tigers to score came in the fifth after Detroit loaded the bases with one out…just to see Berry strike out and Miguel Cabrera pop up to end the frame. Detroit didn't get a runner to second base for the rest of the game.
Now, focusing slowly on the Giants' great pitching and the Tigers' slogging offense isn't fair. After all, there are two sides to each game. But quite frankly, the Giants didn't hit particularly well either, aside from in the second inning. In that inning against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, Hunter Pence led the inning off with a walk, and stole second while Brandon Belt struck out before moving up to third on a Sanchez wild pitch. Pence would easily score on a triple by Gregor Blanco to make it a 1-0 game, and Blanco scored after Brandon Crawford singled him in on a ball misplayed by Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson. A stolen base, a wild pitch, and an error led to two Giants runs…you need to take advantage of situations like that, and the Giants did. In fact, after that second inning, the Giants moved runners just twice over the rest of the game, in the seventh and eighth inning when they put a runner on second in each inning, not moving either from the bag.
Sanchez's evening finished with him allowing just the two runs on six hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out eight. Offensively for the Giants, Pablo Sandoval continues to keep on producing for the Giants offense, going 2/4 with a double. But Sandoval didn't score or drive in either of the Giants' two runs, with the bottom of San Francisco's order contributing to the offensive cause for the team. You can't expect just your stars to drive the offense, and despite Sandoval's heroics in game one, the Giants have won the last two games without him driving the ball over the fence and carrying the team.
Game four will be on Sunday at 8:00, and will pit Matt Cain of the Giants against Max Scherzer of the Tigers. San Francisco can clinch their second World Championship in three seasons with a win in any of the next four games of the series.