DETROIT -- Now that youve all gotten ahead of yourselves -- and to be fair, why wouldnt you after that delicious two-day meal of Sandoval on a bed of Bumgarner -- heres something to remind you that few things are ever as they seem.
The Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals.
I grant you, this is not the way to bet. The Giants have their best pitchers of 2012 R. -- Andrew Vogelsong and M. Thomas Cain -- going in Game 3 and 4, which is one more way that Bruce Bochys way of thinking works in his favor even when it seems like it doesnt.
But as a big believer in the things are awfully quiet around here . . . a little TOO quiet theory of human dynamics, your faithful, charming and even adorable author is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now maybe it wont; it didnt for Texas two years ago.
But the Rangers also led the World Series 3-2 last year before losing the final two games in St. Louis, which is just one more example of how nothing is over until John Belushi in Animal House says its over. And even the stat that 14 of the last 15 teams to take a 2-0 lead in the Series have gone on to win it doesnt take into account the possibility that this is one of those years when a lead is really a cleverly disguised deficit.
See the Cardinals. See them golfing and hunting and lamenting their 3-1 lead over the Giants.
In other words, there are lots of ways this could get to be interesting -- so interesting that the ratings hammering the first two games took can be arrested and even perhaps reversed.
So, because a dose of reality never hurts anyone living in a state of unbridled euphoria, we present scenarios by which the Tigers could make this an event rather than a coronation. And dont think of this as buzzkill. Think of it as a map of a minefield -- where youd rather know what could go wrong than blithely stroll through and find out the hard way.
And remember, were always thinking of you.
1. Anibal Sanchez, Saturdays Tiger starter, does not treat the Giants well. In his last three years in Florida, he muzzled the Giants as well as nearly anyone, and in his two starts this year he was exemplary once and part of a 14-7 abomination the other time. In other words, he can claim to have their number.
2. The Tigers cant really be smothered thrice in their own park, can they? Comerica Park is a big place, but the Tigers are much better there than in an airport like San Francisco, where power hitters go to die and gap hitters thrive.
3. Delmon Young is better as a designated hitter than as a left fielder. The Tigers will use either Don Kelly or Quentin Berry in left in the three games here, which immediately improves Detroits greatest deficiency -- defense. It also exacerbates one of the Giants deficiencies -- no natural DH.
4. Having been fooled by the low end of Justin Verlanders skill set once this series, we can estimate that he will be better in Game 5. We do not do this with the same surety we had in Game 1 (and yes, we were in a group that comprised all other living humans interested in baseball on that one), but it is hard to fathom he will not learn from his mistakes in Game 1.
5. If you believe in rust (and again, we do not), the Tigers are no longer rusty. They were dusty in Games 1 and 2, but ought to be free of webs and insect nests by now.
6. There is no longer a question of where Jose Valverde fits into the Tigers bullpen. He doesnt. That logically diminishes the Giants chances.
7. The 2010 World Series ended too abruptly. Some drama would be nice.
8. The Giants have a knack for playing their backs against the wall. We are not entirely sure how they will do with the other guys back against the wall.
9. Seriously, another five-game series would be kind of a letdown, except maybe for Fox, which cant seem to get people to watch anything that isnt Yankees-vs.-Red Sox.
10. Smug does not become a Giants fan. Fret, worry lines, agony, and the fetish that watching a good baseball team over and over again is torture is what makes a Giants fan. So a struggle here could be therapeutic for you all, as it is what you seem to prefer.
And all that said, the Giants are still in a dramatically superior position here, and as long as they dont act like it, theyll be fine. Eventually. We think.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com