As if to prove that point, Scutaro combined with the guy whose job he took at second base to score the winning run. Beginning the 10th inning, Tigers reliever Phil Coke had struck out all seven batters he’d faced up to that point in the series. But Ryan Theriot lofted a single into short right, then took second on a sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Scutaro coolly worked the count to 3-1.
In the Giants dugout, meanwhile, his teammates barely knew whether to cheer or keep quiet. Scutaro had repaid their support all postseason, delivering so many clutch hits before, they were almost afraid to plead for one more.
“You worried when guys like that come up,” Giants starter Matt Cain recalled. “You worry that maybe you’ve used them all up.”
Not quite. Scutaro lined a soft single back up the middle.
“He had another one,” Cain marveled afterward, “the biggest one left.”
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.