Might that feat be matched Sunday, in Game 4? Who’s to say?
“Sometimes, you want to rank the staff — No. 1, No. 2,” Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. “But with the way they’re throwing, we all look at them as a No. 1.”
Cheers, then, to the San Francisco rotation, because Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito have now combined to allow exactly one run in 172
3 innings against the Tigers. They’re the primary reasons the Giants lead the series three games to none. Should there be a parade in San Francisco in the coming days, they will have earned their way onto their floats.
But if this series was going to become an actual series, it wasn’t going to turn on the bat of Andy Dirks or Omar Infante or some other bit player. It had to be one of two men, or both: Miguel Cabrera and/or Prince Fielder. The former won the Triple Crown in the American League and hits third. The latter was the prize of last year’s free agent crop and bats fourth.
Their contributions in the three games of this series: 3 for 19. During the season, they combined for 148 extra-base hits. During the World Series, they have zero. In Game 3, Cabrera managed a bouncing single in four times up, Fielder nothing in his four trips, and the Tigers — whose pitchers have allowed all of four runs in the past two games — are in a hole from which no team has ever escaped in the World Series.
“The Tigers talk about team,” Manager Jim Leyland said. “They don’t talk about individuals. . . . We don’t point fingers at anybody in particular. That’s how we work here. That’s how we’ve operated since I’ve been here, and that’s how we’ll always operate.”
So point the finger in one direction: The Giants’ starting rotation, which has taken Detroit’s entire lineup, locked it in the trunk of an Edsel and driven it into the Detroit River. Over the first three games of this series, the Tigers have 13 hits off Zito, Bumgarner and Vogelsong. Since Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, San Francisco’s starters are 6-0 with a 0.47 ERA.
“It starts with our starter,” Bochy said.
So when Detroit had its early chances against Vogelsong, the they felt bigger, more important — because when would the next one come along?