Combined with Madison Bumgarner’s effort in Game 2, San Francisco threw the first consecutive shutouts in the Series since Baltimore in 1966, when Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally did the trick against the Dodgers.
It was 47 degrees at gametime, a drop of 17 from Thursday night at AT&T Park, and the Tigers clearly knew this was their chance to pull back into the Series.
Soon enough, Game 3 took on a familiar look.
During the Giants‘ early two-run burst, Detroit’s body language said all you needed to know about this Series. At one point in-between pitches, Cabrera put his hands on his hips at third base, shortstop Jhonny Peralta scuffed the dirt, second baseman Omar Infante turned his back to the infield, Fielder stared down at first.
A losing posture, plain and simple.
The Comerica crowd, so pumped earlier in the postseason, quickly fell silent. Desperate to cheer for anything, the fans hollered for a long, albeit routine, flyout by Delmon Young.
Detroit grounded into the most double plays in the majors this year, and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford’s two slick turns added to the Tigers‘ total. Both DPs came with two on and one out, by Fielder in the first and the speedy rookie Berry in the third. Berry put both hands on his batting helmet as he zoomed well past the base, running out his frustration.
Working on 12 days’ rest, Sanchez may have been the latest Detroit player to be caught in the Rust Belt, at least in the second inning. That’s when he constantly overthrew his fastball and did not resemble the pitcher who had made two sharp starts this postseason.
The San Francisco hitters also were amply familiar with Sanchez. This was the fourth time he had matched up with Vogelsong in the last two years — Sanchez twice won duels, then lost a slugfest.
Hunter Pence, who scored one run and drove in the other during a 2-0 win in Game 2, drew a four-pitch walk to begin the second. It was a telling sign — Sanchez had not walked a right-handed batter since August.
Pence stole second, took third on a wild pitch and, with the Tigers‘ infield playing in, trotted home when Blanco tripled off the wall in right. Crawford looped an RBI single with two outs for a 2-0 lead, and Rick Porcello began warming up in the Detroit bullpen.
NOTES: Cabrera has safely reached base in all 23 postseason games in his career. … A few fans outside the ballpark climbed part of the way up the exterior gate to catch a glimpse of the action from left field before a stadium attendant inside told them to get down.