At the conclusion of the second game of the 2012 World Series two known sports theories are remaining absolutely true. Those theories are that home field advantage is extremely important and the team with the momentum performs better than the team with the rest as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in game two to take a 2-0 lead in the 107th Fall Classic.
The initial six innings of game two were dominated completely by the starting pitchers San Francisco’s 23-year old lefty Madison Bumgarner and Detroit’s 28-year old hurler Doug Fister who matched each other with zeros on the scoreboard thanks to fine pitch selections and a few stellar plays from the defense behind them.
The play of the game may have come in the top of the second inning when Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder was thrown out at home by Marco Scutaro while he was attempting to score on a Delmon Young double to left field. If Fielder would have remained at third base instead being waved around then Detroit would have had runners at second and third with no one out. Instead Fielder being gunned down at the plate represented the first out and was quickly followed by a weak Johnny Peralta pop up to first base and then Avisail Garcia struck out swinging to end the inning and shift the momentum right back in San Fran’s favor.
In the bottom of the seventh inning Giants right fielder Hunter Pence led off the inning with a single to left and Tigers manager Jim Leyland replaced his starter Fister with left-hander Drew Smyly who then immediately surrendered a walk to first baseman Brandon Belt. The second biggest play of the game then ensued when left fielder Gregor Blanco attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position, however Tigers catcher Gerald Laird allowed the ball to roll hoping it would travel into foul territory however it stop rolling and stayed fair turning Blanco’s sacrifice attempt into a single and loading the bases with no outs. San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford then grounded into a four-six-three, double play however the Pence crossed the plate safely and the Giants went ahead 1-0.
The Giants tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Pence hit a sacrifice fly to deep right scoring Angle Pagan from third which made the score 2-0. Giants closer Sergio Romo entered the game in the top of the ninth and worked a one-two-three inning in effortless fashion to earn the save for Bumgarner and the Giants as they took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
Bumgarner pitched seven masterful innings allowing just two hits and two base-on balls while striking eight eight in the process. The young lefty now has pitched two consecutive games in the Fall Classic where he went at least seven scoreless innings including his start in game four of the 2010 World Series. The Tigers were shutout for just the fourth time all-season (twice during the regular season and once during the ALDS) and now head back to the drawing board searching for answers on how to get back into this series before it’s completely over.
Things won’t get any easier for the Tigers as the series heads back to Detroit for game three on Saturday night as the Giants have their top pitcher of the postseason, Ryan Volgelsong (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 18 K’s, 3 ER, 11 H, 6 BB, 19 IP and 0.89 WHIP in 2012 postseason) starting against Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 1.35 ERA 10 K’s, 2 ER, 8 H, 5 BB, 13.1 IP and 0.98 WHIP in 2012 postseason). First pitch is set to take place at 8:07 pm.