|Sanchez gave light-hitting Tigers a shot in Game 3|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 27 October 2012 20:14|
They just couldn't hit - again.
Sanchez gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings, but didn't get any run support as the San Francisco Giants beat Detroit 2-0 Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in the lopsided World Series.
``Bad moment for hitters,'' Sanchez said. ``But nothing is over.''
The hardly hitting Tigers could be finished soon - as early as Sunday night in Game 4, in fact - during a series in which they haven't led San Francisco once after not trailing the New York Yankees at any point of the American League championship series.
Detroit was shut out in two straight games in one postseason for the first time since getting blanked by the Chicago Cubs in consecutive games of the 1908 World Series.
Sanchez struck out eight, walked only one and had his ERA go down to 2.57 this postseason, but he lost for the second time this month. He also gave up just two runs in his previous setback, a 2-0 loss to Oakland in the AL division series.
Sanchez, acquired from the Miami Marlins in July, pitched after being off for 12 days. He walked Hunter Pence on four pitches to start the second inning, ending his streak of facing 95 right-handed batters without giving up a walk dating to Aug. 22, according to STATS LLC.
``He was probably over-competing a little bit early and then he settled in and was absolutely terrific,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
One out later in the second, Gregor Blanco hit a full-count pitch for a triple to drive in the first run and scored on Brandon Crawford's single.
``Their guy threw well, and a game like this could go either way,'' San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ``And, Blanco got a huge hit.''
Detroit's Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke combined to pitch two innings of scoreless relief, but the Tigers couldn't rally to render their performance on the mound moot.
``We got tremendous pitching effort, but we've been shut out for 18 innings, so it's pretty hard to win a game,'' Leyland said.
GIANT D: San Francisco has showed that pitching and defense is quite a formula for success.
Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco raced to his right to get the second out of the ninth inning, catching Jhonny Peralta's fly in foul territory - on the palm of his glove. Shortstop Brandon Crawford kept Miguel Cabrera off the bath paths in the eighth with a diving stop up the middle and a sharp throw. And in the fifth inning, third baseman Pablo Sandoval snagged Peralta's sinking line drive.
``Defense can win games for you,'' Bochy said. ``And it did tonight.''
San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong said his teammates were playing so well behind him that he simply just wanted to throw strikes.
``It encourages you to try and get the guys to hit the ball in play,'' Vogelsong said.
GAME 4 MATCHUP: Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer and San Francisco righty Matt Cain didn't need to know the outcome of Saturday's World Series game - the Giants won 2-0 - to understand that the stakes will be high when they take the mound Sunday night.
Both starters couldn't wait to take advantage of an opportunity to give their team a much-needed - or must-have - victory in Game 4.
``I absolutely relish it,'' Scherzer said before Game 3. ``This is the start of a lifetime to be able to pitch in the World Series.''
The Giants take a 3-0 lead in the seven-game series into Game 4.
``You try to trick yourself into thinking it's another game, but you know what's going on,'' Cain said. ``Your mind and your body, they know what's going on.''
Both teams probably like their chances with the starters they'll have in the game.
Scherzer, who was 16-7 in the regular season with 231 strikeouts that trailed only teammate Justin Verlander's baseball-leading total, is 0-1 with an 0.82 ERA this postseason.
He was on pace for a victory in Game 4 of the AL division series against the Oakland Athletics until Jose Valverde blew the lead in the ninth inning. Scherzer allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings of Detroit's AL pennant-clinching win over the New York Yankees.
By starting on Sunday, Scherzer will have pitched Game 4 of all three postseason series.
Cain, meanwhile, hasn't been quite as sharp in the playoffs as he was during the regular season.
He is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in the postseason after throwing a perfect game in June and going 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the season.
Cain pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings and drove in a run to help San Francisco beat St. Louis in Game 7 of the NLCS after giving up three runs in each of his first three postseason starts.
CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Bud Selig presented Miguel Cabrera with an actual crown Saturday, recognizing the Triple Crown he won this season, and announced that the Tigers slugger won the AL's Hank Aaron Award.
For the first time, both winners of the award that recognizes the top offensive players in each league were getting ready to play in the same World Series.
After Cabrera posed for pictures and made a statement, he went to get ready for Game 3. Moments later, Giants catcher Buster Posey was honored for being the NL's Hank Aaron Award winner.
``Miguel joined historic company this year by winning the game's first Triple Crown in 45 years,'' Selig said. ``And, Buster was a consistent force in returning to the field triumphantly this year.''
Cabrera is the first player to lead a league in batting average, home runs and RBIs since 1967 when Boston's Carl Yastrzemski pulled off the feat.
``I am very nervous right now,'' Cabrera said after waiting for more than 10 minutes for Selig to arrive at the pregame news conference. ``But I want to thank you very much. It's an honor to be sitting here with a Hall of Famer and commissioner.''
Posey hit .336 and became the first catcher in the league win the batting title since Ernie Lombardi of the Boston Braves in 1942.
``I'm humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am,'' Posey said. ``Growing up in Georgia, he's a legend.''
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