San Francisco also made a great play at the plate to save a run in the second. Had Prince Fielder scored then Detroit might have grabbed some early momentum on the heels of an 8-3 loss in Wednesday’s opener.
After Fielder was hit by a pitch from Madison Bumgarner leading off the second, Blanco _ who made a pair of pretty diving catches in left field during Wednesday’s win _ chased down Delmon Young’s double but overthrew the first cutoff man. Second baseman Marco Scutaro wisely hustled over to third base, however, and caught Blanco’s throw before making a perfect relay home to catcher Buster Posey just in time to nail a sliding Fielder at the plate.
“I don’t know what Scutaro was doing there, but I’m thankful that he was there,” Blanco said. “The ball took kind of a funny hop and I said, `I’ve got to throw to the cutoff man the quickest way I can.’”
Scutaro insists he was just doing his job to back up on the play.
“To cut off relays, always you have to do that,” Scutaro said.
Manager Bruce Bochy figured Fielder would score when the ball hit the wall.
“It was a bang-bang play,” Bochy said. “That’s not an easy call there. He was out, and good quick tag by Buster. It took a perfect relay to get it done.”
Omar Infante hit a leadoff single in the fourth but Pablo Sandoval made a nice play to snare Cabrera’s sharp liner. Infante was later thrown out trying to steal second.
Sure, the Giants made it this far with sparkling defense down the stretch. But a few good hops never hurt.
Bochy has acknowledged that getting some breaks along the way can make a huge difference in October, on the big stage when the stakes are high. And he would know, he took San Francisco to a championship two years ago.
“Baseball’s so hard, this game’s about having luck,” Blanco said. “You can hit the ball 10 times with a line drive to center field and go 0 for 10.”
On Wednesday in the Series opener, Angel Pagan had a double that bounced off the bag at third and shot into left field.
In Game 5 of the NL championship series last Friday at St. Louis, Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn fielded an easy comebacker in the fourth inning and quickly turned to try to start a double play at second base. Instead, his throw caromed off the bag and the throwing error allowed a run to score in the Giants‘ four-run inning.
Barry Zito _ the Game 1 World Series winner _ wound up pitching his team to a 5-0, season-saving victory.
“We’re definitely not going to complain about them,” Vogelsong said. “It’s been crazy, but it’s good. You hate to say luck becomes present in a game, but obviously it does.”