EXTRA BAGGS: History says sweep, but don't sleep on Tigers, etc.

EXTRA BAGGS: History says sweep, but don't sleep on Tigers, etc.
October 28, 2012, 8:01 am
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DETROIT The Giants are making history in so many wayswhile taking a three-to-none edge in the World Series, but this statistic mighttop them all:

The Detroit Tigers are the first AL team to be shut out intwo consecutive World Series games since the 1919 Chicago White Sox. And as weall remember from history, those hitters on the take were actually trying tomake outs.

The Giants are a win away, they haven't trailed in three World Series games and their second title in three years looks like a mortal lock: Of the 23 previous teams to takea 3-0 lead in the Fall Classic, all 23 have won. Not only that, but 20 of thoseteams pulled off the victory in Game 4 to complete the sweep.

No team down 3-0 has even managed to extend the series toGame 5 since 1970.

RELATED: San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series page

But the Giants continue to say the right things.

We arent sleeping on anybody, said closer Sergio Romo.But its within reach. Were in a position we honestly believed we should bein all season long.

This Game 3 victory behind Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum andRomo was a bigger deal than you might think. If the Tigers had pulled it out,they would come to Comerica Park on Sunday with a little more resolve andbelief as well as right-hander Max Scherzer, who has 18 strikeouts in 11innings this postseason.

And Justin Verlander, his hiccup in Game 1 aside, is linedup to save the Tigers season after that.

Itll still be a tough task for the Giants to clinch overthe next two days here in the Motor City, given the two pitchers theyll befacing. Its not like Matt Cain was razor sharp despite his impressivelinescore in Game 7 of the NLCS, either.

Bottom line: The Giants cant assume this series is overyet, even though the Tigers will have trouble finding any hopeful precedent.

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Brandon Crawford came up with another big, RBI hit. Makethat five games out of six that the Giants have collected an RBI from theirNo. 9 hitter. The others were all knocked in by pitchers, of course.

Crawford is hitting just .209 this postseason, but hesgetting his hits when theyre needed most. Hes driven in seven runs on hisnine hits.

And he continues to play flawless defense, aside from onebadly rushed throw in the eighth inning.

Of all the Giants players that national writers andreporters are seeing for the first time, Crawford is the one who seems to beopening the most eyes. He plays on the West Coast and hes not a .300 hitter,so its hard for people in other time zones to appreciate what he doesdefensively on an everyday basis. Theyre seeing it now.

From the second half on, I dont know whos played a bettershort, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Just getting that sense of belonging,hes really grown as a player and thats what you want to see. Hes gettingsome big hits for us and hes a solid, all-around player. Hes just gettingbetter and better.

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Tim Lincecum will be a starting pitcher next season. Just incase you were wondering.

But my goodness, hes been downright Smoltzian out there in relief. Ina way, Lincecums acceptance of his bullpen role, and the coaching staffsprescience in believing he could have an impact if utilized that way, speaks toeverything that makes Bochy the Giants most successful manager since JohnMcGraw. He evaluates a player's skills, puts them in the best position to utilize those skills, and cultivates enough belief, trust and goodwill to get them to buy in fully.

One more win, and Bochy will join McGraw as the only Giantsmanagers to win two World Series championships.

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The Giants are the first World Series team to have three starting pitchers allow a total of one run or less over a three-game span since the 1905 Giants, who had Christy Mathewson and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity.

I wonder if "Iron Man" Joe believed in the power of RallyEnchiladas.

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Ryan Vogelsong already had fond memories of Comerica Parkbefore winning his World Series debut.

It was here last season that Giants manager Bruce Bochy toldVogelsong that he made the NL All-Star team a moment of validation for apitcher who was the opening-day starter at Triple-A Fresno and had beenreleased by the Phillies and Angels Triple-A clubs the previous year.

Yeah, that crossed my mind, Vogelsong said. When wewalked in for the workout yesterday, I thought about it when I walked by thisoffice. But yeah, I mean, what an amazing experience. I was thrilled to deathbefore the game even started just to have this opportunity. Im just glad I wasable to have a solid game and come out on the right side.

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I passed by Jim Leyland on his way out of the interview roomand he looked like he couldve lit a cigarette by sticking it in his ear.

Maybe its because the first question was second-guessinghim for crowding his infield in the second inning.

And what about being down 3-0? What does he tell his team?

You dont tell them anything, Leyland said. They cancount.

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Hey, fun fact! The Giants are 31-13 on the road since the All-Star break.

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Last words from Delmon Young or is it last rites?

Im either going back to San Francisco to play Game 6 orIm going back to Beverly Hills, Young said. Id like to go back to SanFrancisco, but the odds are against us right now.

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