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Giants lead Tigers 1-0 in 8th inning of Game 2
Question of the Day
San Francisco breaks through for a run in the seventh.
Hunter Pence led off with a single that chased Tigers starter Doug Fister after 114 pitches. Rookie left-hander Drew Smyly got two strikes on Brandon Belt, then walked him. Gregor Blanco went up looking to sacrifice and his bunt was so perfect that it hugged the third base line for a hit that loaded the bases.
Brandon Crawford grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. They are 7-1 when scoring first this postseason.
Madison Bumgarner was lifted for pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot, who struck out to end the seventh. What an outstanding bounce-back effort by Bumgarner, who gave up only two hits and struck out eight in seven innings.
Santiago Casilla works a 1-2-3 eighth and San Francisco is three outs from taking a 2-0 lead to Detroit.
Detroit needs Prince Fielder to start producing before it's too late. He's having a tough postseason.
Miguel Cabrera drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh inning, outlasting Madison Bumgarner in a nine-pitch at-bat.
Fielder took a huge hack on the next pitch and swung through it. Then he bounced back to the mound for a 1-6-3 double play, snuffing out a potential rally.
A fired-up Bumgarner pumped his fist and yelled.
Fielder began the night hitting .214 with a homer and three RBIs in the postseason.
Bumgarner has been crafty all night, striking out eight while throwing only 86 pitches through seven innings. Game 2 is still scoreless in the bottom of the seventh.
We've got a pitchers' duel in Game 2 of the World Series.
Scoreless through 5 1/2 innings. Both teams have two hits.
Tigers pitcher Doug Fister appears completely unfazed by the line drive that deflected off his head in the second inning. He's retired 10 straight.
Fister gets great torque and natural movement on the ball by unfolding that 6-foot-8 frame. Some nasty stuff.
Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner, only 23 years old, is hitting the corners and looks much better than he did during the NL playoffs, when he had an 11.25 ERA in two starts. He has eight strikeouts.
Detroit is getting some good swings against Bumgarner, but the right-handers have hooked a few balls foul.
A frustrating fourth inning for Detroit.
Omar Infante led off with an infield single and Miguel Cabrera got ahead in the count before smoking a line drive that was caught by third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Cabrera pounded his chest once and looked up toward the sky.
Prince Fielder flied out to the left-field warning track and Infante was picked off when he tried to steal second.
The umpires have been terrific tonight.
Somehow, Doug Fister appears to be OK.
Gregor Blanco hit a line drive right off the side of Fister's head in the second inning. The ball caromed high in the air and landed in center field for a single.
Fister, however, never went down and never appeared to be hurt.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland, pitching coach Jeff Jones and a trainer all came out to check on Fister, who said he was fine.
Very, very fortunate.
Game is still scoreless after three innings.
Early mistake by the Tigers, who squandered a chance at a big inning with some overly aggressive baserunning.
Fielder was hit by a pitch to open the second and Delmon Young grounded a double inside third base. Chugging around the bases, the hefty Fielder was waved home by third base coach Gene Lamont and cut down on a close play at the plate.
Lamont should have held Fielder at third, setting up the Tigers with two runners in scoring position and nobody out. Instead, Fielder made the first out at home plate _ a definite no-no. Detroit didn't score in the inning.
Plate umpire Dan Iassogna made an excellent call _ replays showed catcher Buster Posey's sweep tag was just in time. Moments later, Fielder screamed in the dugout.
San Francisco executed a fine double cutoff on the play, with second baseman Marco Scutaro _ who else? _ making the relay throw to the plate. He alertly dashed over toward the left-field line to be the second cutoff man. Nice defensive fundamentals.
FOX said it was the first 7-4-2 putout in World Series history.
Strong start for Tigers right-hander Doug Fister as well.
He struck out leadoff man Angel Pagan, flashed a nice curve and retired Game 1 star Pablo Sandoval on a fly to left for a 1-2-3 first inning.
Great start for Madison Bumgarner, who really struggled during the NL playoffs.
Two strikeouts to start the game and then he gets Miguel Cabrera on a grounder to shortstop with a low breaking ball.
Bumgarner got a little help on the corners and at the top of the strike zone from plate umpire Dan Iassogna. A couple of close pitches, could have gone either way. Bumgarner doesn't appear to be throwing as hard as usual, but he hit his spots in the first inning.
Welcome back to the World Series.
Now that Justin Verlander lost, the Tigers are in trouble. That seems to be the conventional wisdom, at least.
Hardly anyone was expecting baseball's top pitcher to turn in such a dud during Game 1 in San Francisco on Wednesday night. And most observers who picked Detroit to win this World Series were probably counting on Verlander to put his team ahead in the opener.
But don't brush off the Tigers just yet. Doug Fister is certainly capable of coming through with a big game, and Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is a question mark in Game 2 tonight.
First pitch coming up in a few minutes.
Bumgarner won 16 games during the regular season but looked fatigued during the National League playoffs. He went 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in two outings and was removed from the rotation during the NLCS, replaced by Tim Lincecum.
It will be interesting to see how Bumgarner responds after a little break. He worked on his delivery in the bullpen, and manager Bruce Bochy chose the young lefty over Lincecum for this start.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland says Fister is an intense competitor, and there's plenty of pressure on him tonight. Fister, pitching on 11 days' rest, held the Yankees scoreless for 6 1-3 innings in the ALCS opener and has a 1.35 ERA in two postseason starts.
Recent history favors the Giants, though. Sixteen of the past 17 home teams to win Game 1 went on to win the World Series.
By Steve King
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