Baseball: San Fransisco Giants win World Series in whitewash
THE San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in ten innings to complete a four-game sweep and be crowned World Series champions for the second time in three years.
Marco Scutaro, the most valuable player in the National League Championship Series, was again the hero for the Giants, cracking a sharply-hit single into shallow centre to bring in Ryan Theriot with the winning run.
As the Giants stampeded out of the dugout, jumping up and down in celebration after the final out in the bottom of the 10th, the home crowd turned away and quietly exited Comerica Park, disinterested in joining the party. Pablo Sandoval, who slammed three homers in Game One, had added reason to celebrate after being voted the Series’ most valuable player.
Having survived six do-or-die elimination games in the National League Division and Championship Series, the Giants closed out the season in ruthless fashion, reeling off seven consecutive wins to secure their seventh world championship.
“What made them so special was they were such an unselfish group, they just loved each other and played for each other and the fans and had a never say die attitude,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said at the trophy presentation. “It’s amazing what a group of guys who play like a team can accomplish.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was also left feeling dazed as he watched his team swept from the World Series just days after breezing past the New York Yankees in a minimum four games in the American League Championship Series. “I’m a bit flabbergasted to be honest with you,” Leyland said. “I never would have thought we would have swept the New York Yankees and I never would have thought the Giants would have swept up but it happened. It’s a freaky game.”
Certainly one of the freakiest elements of the series was Detroit’s lack of production at the plate. The only thing colder than the Michigan weather was Detroit’s bats, with triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder going a combined 4 for 27 over the four games.
For Sandoval, affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda, his MVP award completed a stunning turnaround to a career that appeared to have stalled. Facing persistent weight problems and a benching just two years ago, Sandoval hit .500 in the Giants’ sensational four-game victory.
The burly, 26-year-old Venezuelan with an infectious smile said he changed his conduct to become a better player.
“You learn from the things that happen in your career,” he told reporters. “You get up and down. You never give up. All the things that happened in my career, thank God it happened early rather than late in my career. I’m just blessed to be here and part of the 2012 World Series.”
Sandoval’s three home runs in the series opener saw him join some illustrious company in the record books. Only Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols and Reggie Jackson have gone deep three times in the Fall Classic. Two of Sandoval’s home runs were against reigning Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, arguably the best pitcher in the game. After the game, he received 300 text messages and a tweet from President Hugo Chavez back home in Venezuela.
“I still can’t believe that game,” said the two-time All-Star. “It’s the game of your dreams. You don’t want to wake up.”
The series was also a personal triumph for San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who, nearly three decades after leaving Detroit as a World Series loser, exited the Motor City as a champion. As a reserve catcher for San Diego, Bochy made his only appearance in the World Series as player in 1984 and had one at-bat as the Padres fell in five games to the Tigers. The 57-year-old manager will now have much happier memories of Detroit after this year’s edition of the giants took the World Series trophy back to San Francisco.
“You know, in ‘84, that was so long ago,” Bochy said. “But it is amazing how things come back around. For us to play like we did against this great club, I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to get here, and I couldn’t be prouder of a group of guys that were not going to be denied.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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