Well that sucked: Your World Series recap

29 10 2012

By Kleinz 57

With the Mime’s “Northern Xposure” column uneasily sitting on Hiawatha Ave, here’s your weekly dose o’ professional sports goodness. If you missed it — and chances are if you’re not from San Fran or Motown you did — the oh so scrappy Giants swept the Detroit Tigers last night in a severely underwhelming World Series. The Giants outscored Detroit’s (allegedly) monstrous offense 16 – 6, which to put into statistical context, is fucking pathetic.

Justin “Kate Upton’s all mine” Verlander was regarded as a main reason Detroit was the favorite in this series, but he obviously had the boobies on the brain, surrendering 5 runs over 6 hits, 2 of which were home runs in Game 1. The recurring narrative, prior to Verlander’s shellacking on Wednesday, was that baseball’s best pitcher had finally stepped it up in the postseason. All it takes is one game though, party people. But the brunt of the blame shouldn’t be heaped on the ace right-hander, or really any Tigers pitcher not named Jose Valverde. For all this (incorrect) talk of Miguel Cabrera as the runaway AL MVP candidate “leading” his team to the playoffs, the 2012 Triple Crown winner didn’t do all that much leading. Never mind the mostly pointless kerfuffle of Cabrera skipping out on media personnel; the Tigers’ offense did not show up. Much of their regular season was highlighted by a potent lineup: a bomb leadoff man in Austin Jackson, the one-two punch of Cabrera and offseason acquisition Prince Fielder, and the resurrection of power bat Delmon “nazi stache” Young, whose ALCS MVP award was definitely a thorn in the side of many a Twins fan. The real Prince Fielder never showed up, sporting a pitcher-esque .173/.232/.231 slash line across all three series. And to think that A-Rod’s lack of “clutchness” was the pervading story in October…

As usual, thank you Deadspin. Thank you so hard.

Out west, the Giants played up to expectations and then some. San Francisco’s run prevention was already stellar, with defensive assets in Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, and Buster Posey, plenty of starting pitching and a DEEEEEEP bullpen. Their lone downside? Offense. With NL MVP favorite Posey and the bat of Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco was never screwed per se, but they did finish the regular season with +69 run differential. Certainly not terrible, but in comparison to harder hitting clubs like Texas, St. Louis, and New York (100+ across the board), they weren’t exactly shoo-in favorites. Yes, run differential is a flawed metric for analyzing a team’s success, but more clear-cut is Brian Sabean’s baffling decision to sit Melky Cabrera — eligible to play after a 50 game substance abuse suspension. Ignoring the hypocrisy that comes with moralizing a sport in which star athletes are punished more for magical mystery powders than DUI arrests, San Francisco’s offense would’ve looked better with Cabrera on the lineup card, the bench even. That’s fact, jack. Of course, there are chemistry factors at play here, and I’m assuming Bruce Bochy anticipated that Melky’s return would only draw the ire of his teammates. On the other hand, dumping the guy who hit .346/.390/.516 in 110 games for the corpse of Xavier Nady doesn’t make a whole lot of sense winning games-wise. (Nady, in case you’re curious, had 6 plate appearances this October and reached base a cool one time.)

Of course, hindsight proves this all wrong. And to his credit, Bochy managed THE SHIT out of the playoffs, opting to convert former ace-turned human batting cage Tim Lincecum into a longman for the Giants’ pen, sticking him in the middle of games for 2 or 3 innings at a time. Not to mention Bochy had the cajones to call out Detroit’s putrid infield defense and have his pitchers swing the bat. It all worked. I still can’t quite believe it, but with the Giants’ sweep of favored Detroit in 2012, one thing is perfectly clear: Baseball still makes no fucking sense.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: