Giants at Tigers: World Series Game 4 preview
Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants look to sweep the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series tonight at Comerica Park (FOX, 5:07 p.m.).
After last night’s convincing 2-0 shutout by Ryan Vogelsong, the Tigers are in a similar situation that the Giants found themselves in during the NLDS and NLCS — backs against the wall, on the brink of elimination.
History is not on Detroit’s side in this one, as none of the other 23 teams in this predicament have ever rallied back to win the World Series after falling behind 3-0.
Will the Tigers claw their way back? Or will they falter like 20 of the 23 previous victims who lost in a sweep?
Detroit will put their faith in Max Scherzer tonight to keep their title hopes alive.
Scherzer (16-7, 3.74 ERA, 1.274 WHIP) came to the Tigers in 2009 as part of a three-team swap between the Tigers, Yankees and Diamondbacks that included Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy, and Austin Jackson.
Don’t be surprised if FOX sportscasters Tim McCarver and Joe Buck bring up a peculiar storyline about Scherzer tonight. Scherzer was born with a condition called heterochromia iridum, which basically means that one of his eyes is a different color than the other. His right eye is blue and his left eye is brown.
No matter how freaky his eyes may be, the 28-year old right-hander is much more of a freak on the mound, having led the American League with 11.078 strikeouts per nine innings in 2012.
Scherzer is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA so far in his two postseason starts this fall.
He has struggled against the Giants, though, going 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA in four career outings against them.
Scherzer has faced eight current Giants players before:
Meanwhile, the Giants will try to sweep the series, going with their No. 1 ace.
How perfect would it be for San Francisco to clinch their second World Series title in three years with the man who threw a perfect game earlier this season?
During his career, Cain (16-5, 2.79 ERA, 1.040 WHIP) is 2-0 in elimination games.
While he struggled a bit during his first two postseason starts (1-2, 4.67 ERA), Shotgun looked like his old dominant self in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series last Monday night, throwing 5.2 scoreless innings to capture the pennant in front of 42,000+ maniacal fans at AT&T Park, most of whom — like me — stuck around the yard for hours afterwards, climbing the Willie Mays statue out front, trying to get on TV while Comcast SportsNet did their post-game wrap, razzing the Cardinals buses as they slipped out of sight down 3rd Street, watching chicks flash their humm babies, while cars along King Street honked like crazy.
Cain has the element of surprise in his favor tonight, having faced just four current Tigers over his career:
San Francisco has won a franchise-record six straight postseason games and have outscored their opponents 32-4 during this incredible span. Giants starters are allowing less than half a run per game (0.48 ERA) during the win streak.
So what does it all mean?
Break out the brooms, Giants fans, and start making plans to spend the day at the Civic Center because the only question that remains now is, “Will I see you at the parade?”
My Game 4 prediction: Giants 9, Tigers 2
2012 World Series schedule:
Game 1: Giants 8, Tigers 3 (SF leads series 1-0)
Game 2: Giants 2, Tigers 0 (SF leads series 2-0)
Game 3: Giants 2, Tigers 0 (SF leads series 3-0)
Game 4: Sun., Oct. 28: SF (Cain, 16-5, 2.79) at DET (Scherzer, 16-7, 3.74), 5:07 p.m.
*Game 5: Mon., Oct. 29: SF (Zito, 15-8, 4.15) at DET (Verlander, 17-8, 2.64), 5:07 p.m.
*Game 6: Wed., Oct. 31: DET (Fister, 10-10, 3.45) at SF (Bumgarner, 16-11, 3.37), 5:07 p.m.
*Game 7: Thu., Nov. 1: DET (Sanchez, 4-6, 3.74) at SF (Vogelsong, 14-9, 3.37), 5:07 p.m.
* If necessary