Scutaro's hit in 10th lifts SF over Tigers 4-3 for 2nd Series title in 3 years

10/28/2012
BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST
San Francisco Giants' Sergio Romo and catcher Buster Posey celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3, in Game 4 of baseball's World Series Sunday.
San Francisco Giants' Sergio Romo and catcher Buster Posey celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3, in Game 4 of baseball's World Series Sunday.

DETROIT — Tigers man­ager Jim Ley­land said be­fore Sun­day night’s World Ser­ies Game 4 that he liked the way his team’s pitch­ing ro­ta­tion was lined up for Game 5 and be­yond.

NOTEBOOK: Bochy recalls his last World Series experience in Detroit

“I can paint a rosy pic­ture. … I mean, our pitch­ing is set up ter­rific,” Ley­land said. “But we’ve got to fig­ure out a way to go out and win a base­ball game.”

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera walks away after striking out to end Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants Sunday.
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera walks away after striking out to end Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants Sunday.

Alas, Ley­land’s Tigers never fig­ured it out.

They tried. They fought. They took it to ex­tra in­nings. But the Giants won 4-3 for their sec­ond world cham­pi­on­ship in three sea­sons and the sev­enth in fran­chise his­tory.

Detroit ended a 20-in­ning score­less streak with a wind-aided, two-run home run by Miguel Cabrera with two outs in the bot­tom of the third. It ended San Fran­cisco’s post­sea­son streak of 56 in­nings with­out trail­ing on the score­board.

But it was tem­po­rary.

And it be­came ter­mi­nal in the 10th in­ning when Marco Scutaro drove in the game-win­ning run to give the Giants a 4-0 sweep of the se­ries.

Ley­land hoped his team would stay alive for an­other night, to hand the ball to ace Justin Ver­lander for Game 5 at Co­mer­ica Park.

There will be no Game 5.

After the Giants had trailed for all of two frames, Buster Po­sey matched Cabrera’s two-run blast with a tow­er­ing shot that wrapped in­side the left-field foul pole. It was one out re­moved from a leadoff in­field sin­gle by Scutaro, and it re­stored a 3-2 lead for the Giants.

Del­mon Young tied it in the bot­tom of that sixth in­ning, also tak­ing ad­van­tage of the jet-stream whip­ping from left to right to pop an op­po­site-field ho­mer with two outs and the bases empty.

It was the Tiger des­ig­nated hit­ter’s third home run of this post­sea­son and his eighth post­sea­son home run, eas­ily a fran­chise record, in two years.

Max Scherzer struck out eight while work­ing into the sev­enth in­ning, but al­lowed a leadoff sin­gle to Gre­gor Blanco, who was run­ning on a pitch to Ryan The­riot and moved to sec­ond on a ground­out.

With short­stop Bran­don Craw­ford, a lefty, com­ing to the plate, Ley­land called on south­paw Drew Smyly.

He got Craw­ford on a fly ball to cen­ter. Ley­land then went to Octa­vio Do­tel against switch-hit­ter An­gel Pagan to force a bounce out that ended the in­ning.

San Francisco Giants second baseman Ryan Theriot slides safely to score a run past Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird during the 10th inning of Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday.
San Francisco Giants second baseman Ryan Theriot slides safely to score a run past Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird during the 10th inning of Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday.

Giants starter Matt Cain, like Scherzer a 16-game win­ner dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, de­liv­ered seven in­nings of five-hit ball, al­though two of them were home runs.

Lefty Jer­emy Affeldt faced the Tigers in the bot­tom of the eighth and walked the leadoff man, pinch-hit­ter Avisail Gar­cia, on a 3-2 pitch.

The crowd of 42,152 at Co­mer­ica Park was smell­ing a go-ahead rally with Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Young com­ing up, but Affeldt struck out all three.

His best pitch was a 1-1 curve to Fielder that buck­led the hit­ter’s legs. He then swung through a fast­ball to end the at-bat. Fielder was 1-for-14 in the World Ser­ies with no runs bat­ted in.

Not to be out­done, Phil Coke came in for the Tigers in the top of the ninth and he also struck out the side, three up and three down. His nas­ti­est pitch was the last one, a break­ing ball that froze Blanco for a called third strike.

How­ever, Coke sur­ren­dered a leadoff sin­gle to DH The­riot as the game moved to ex­tra in­nings. Bran­don Craw­ford moved him up a base with a per­fect sac­ri­fice bunt, and Scutaro drove an up-and-away fast­ball on a 3-1 pitch into cen­ter field. Austin Jack­son charged, but couldn’t make the play, and his throw to the plate was too late to stop The­riot from scor­ing the go-ahead run.

San Fran­cisco closer Ser­gio Romo came on in the bot­tom of the 10th and struck out the side, end­ing it on a called third strike against Cabrera.

The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sec­ond when Hunter Pence hit a ground-rule dou­ble to the deep left-cen­ter al­ley. On the next pitch, first base­man Bran­don Belt, hit­less in the Ser­ies to that point, picked on an off-speed pitch, down and in, and blasted it of the wall in right for a run-scor­ing tri­ple.

It put the Giants where they’ve be­come ac­cus­tomed to be­ing, in the lead. But the World Ser­ies fi­nally pro­vided a game with some drama, some back-and-forth.

They call it the Fall Clas­sic, and this game surely was.

In the end, though, the same team won.

It was sud­den-death for the Tigers.

And the World Ser­ies is over.

Con­tact Blade sports col­um­nist Dave Hack­en­berg at: dhack@the­blade.com or 419-724-6398.