DETROIT The Giants ride into chilly, gray Comerica Parkcarrying a franchise-best five-game postseason winning streak in which theyveoutscored their opponents 30-4.
Yet the Detroit Tigers have their own streak eightconsecutive home victories and manager Jim Leyland finally gets to run outhis lineup against a right-handed starter.
Thats no small detail: The Tigers were 62-49 againstright-handed starters and their two heavies, Miguel Cabrera and PrinceFielder, hit 64 of their 74 home runs against righty pitchers.
Nothing on the matchup sheet could make the Giants regretsending Ryan Vogelsong to the mound for Game 3, though. Vogelsong has been theGiants best starting pitcher this postseason both in terms of stuff andresults. His hard two-seamer and sharp offspeed pitches allowed him to match adominant, 10-strikeout, one-hit start from the Reds Homer Bailey in Game 3 ofthe NLDS at Cincinnati the first of six elimination victories that the Giantshad to reel off to claim the NL pennant.
Now the Giants are playing from ahead. Theyll sendVogelsong in search of a 3-0 lead in the World Series, and in addition toCabrera and Fielder, hell have to concentrate on Omar Infante. Thetable-setting infielder is 7 for 11 (all singles) in his career againstVogelsong. No other Tigers hitter has faced him more than six times; Cabreraand Fielder have combined to go 1 for 8 with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Tigers have more speed in their lineup with QuintinBerry in the outfield, but Vogelsong might be the Giants best starting pitcherat holding runners.
The Tigers will counter with right-hander Anibal Sanchez,who has dominated the Giants in three starts at AT&T Park (3-0, 0.36 ERA)but hasnt been so good elsewhere.
Sanchez, whom the Tigers acquired from the Miami Marlins,got pounded when he faced the Giants May 24 at Marlins Park. He allowed fiveruns on seven hits and two walks in 5 13 innings. Vogelsong started that gameand received the victory in a 14-7 win.
Sanchez has to be elated that the Giants didnt add MelkyCabrera to their World Series roster. Cabrera is 8 for 15 lifetime off Sanchez,and although hes eligible now that hes served his 50-game suspension forflunking a performance-enhancing drug test, the Giants decided to avoid thedistraction of bringing him back at any point in the postseason.
Giants leadoff man Angel Pagan is 6 for 23 with threedoubles off Sanchez; Gregor Blanco is 4 for 7 with a home run. DH HectorSanchez will be facing Anibal Sanchez for the first time. (Giants DHs had justone RBI in nine interleague games during the regular season.)
Although most of his numbers are similar from a year ago,Sanchezs strikeout rate dropped from 9.26 per nine innings last year to 7.68this year and hes pitching in the postseason for the first time, too.
Early scoring makes all the difference for the Giants, who haventblown a lead after the third inning all postseason.