After the first two games of the 2012 World Series, the Detroit Tigers have to be a little shell shocked. Although they were starting the series on the road at AT&T Park in San Francisco, they had to be confident that they could at least earn a split.
They couldn’t have imagined that unheralded San Francisco Giants’ infielder Pablo Sandoval would hammer three home runs to defeat the Tigers in Game One. One of those home runs was surrendered by Tigers’ pitching ace Justin Verlander, who is considered one of the best pitchers in baseball. Detroit sought a road split, but Game Two saw Detroit get shut out on only two hits. Not the way to start their quest for their first World Series title since 1984.
Tigers’ Triple Crown winning third baseman Miguel Cabrera, as well as slugging first baseman Prince Fielder must get on track. However, for Detroit to realize a World Series title, someone else has to make some sort of transcendent contribution. A great diving catch that saves a couple of runs, or a timely hit that drives in a couple runs might help turn the series around.
But who will shine in the World Series spotlight for Detroit? The Tigers will need more that Cabrera, Fielder, and Verlander to take four of the next five games. Could it be Austin Jackson, the fleet footed Tigers’ center fielder? Maybe it’ll be reliever Jose Valverde, who the Tigers will hopefully call upon to close out a few Detroit victories in the Series.
It’s hard to predict when or who will create the next “wow” moment in the Series. There’s no better chance to be immortalized than in the World Series. The opportunity for the unheralded Tigers to achieve that “wow” moment is there. Now they just have to go ahead and make it happen.