Giants pitching holds Tigers scoreless: first NL team to accomplish feat since 1919

Ezra Shaw

Giants pitchers do not allow Tigers to take advantage with runners on base as Giants move to within one game of their second World Series title in three years.

The last time an NL team shut out an AL opponent in the World Series for two consecutive games was the 1919 World Series, wherein the Cincinnati Reds shut out the Chicago White Sox in games 4 and 5. The difference between that series and this one? Those were the infamous Chicago Black Sox, who were intentionally trying to lose those games in a gambling fix. The Tigers, near as I can tell, are trying to win. The Giants just aren't allowing them to score.

It's not like the Tigers haven't had their opportunities to score, especially in this game. The Tigers grounded into two inning-ending double plays in the early going, and Miguel Cabrera popped out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

The Giants have outscored the Tigers 12 to 3 thus far in the Series. The Tigers' vaunted pitching staff, which was thought to be a strength coming in to these games, has been effective (save Verlander in Game 1) but the Giants' staff has been utterly dominant. Part of their effectiveness is the fact that, in Games 1 and 3, when the starter had gone around 100 pitches Tim Lincecum was able to come in and eat up the middle relief innings (typically reserved for less effective pitchers) and he has been simply untouchable. Lincecum has made the Tiger hitters look like single-A kids, chasing his splitter out of the strike zone with aplomb. He has not yet allowed a hit in the Series, and recorded three more strikeouts tonight.

And now the Giants will throw their best pitcher, Matt Cain, at the Tigers on Sunday. If the Tigers want to extend the series, they will have to find a way to hit with runners in scoring position. Unfortunately for them, Matt Cain is a savant when it comes to stranding runners. Cain's only weakness has been a propensity to allow home runs, but the Tigers haven't hit any in the World Series and a cold night at Comerica Park doesn't seem like the best environment for that to take place.

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